When you’re one of the most famous darts players on the planet and you want to pop to your local cafe in Milton Keynes without being recognised, there is a certain protocol to be followed. A mask at all times. A big beanie hat to hide your blonde hair. No make-up, obviously. Even then, it’s far from foolproof.
“Every time I go in someone recognises me,” says Fallon Sherrock, sighing. “As soon as I take the hat off, people are staring. I’m like, I just want to eat my burger …”
Fame hit Sherrock like a hand grenade. In a way, she’s still processing the aftershock. Nothing could really have prepared her for what followed her groundbreaking run at the world championship in late 2019, becoming the first woman to reach the third round. There were TV bookings, invitations, photoshoots, messages by the thousand. Then came the vultures and the internet men, with curiously pointed opinions on everything from her darting ability to her appearance. For a regular 27-year-old with no particular craving for public attention, it was a lot.
“When it first started happening,” she says euphemistically, “I just got thrown in at the deep end. I had to learn how to deal with it.”
She has a management team now, who filter her social media feeds so she can still see the deluge of positive messages without having to sift through the trolls. But she’s still too timid to Google herself. “I’m scared of what I might see,” she says. “I’ve come off all the darts groups…