Darts News and Events

Dartoid #312: Showers of Golden Girl Accolades

Trina Gulliver Golden Girl

In this latest installment of Dartoid’s World, he reviews the hard hitting, often times steamy, biography of Trina Gulliver, dart’s Golden Girl. :shocked:

From the article:

I don?t know Trina Gulliver but if we ever meet she?ll probably punch me in the head and knock me out (something she once did in school to a lad who slagged her off) after she reads the first few paragraphs of this!

I?ve just flipped the final page of Gulliver?s 309-page manuscript, co-authored by Doctor of Darts Patrick Chaplin. Scheduled to be released by John Blake Publishing of London in just days to coincide with Gulliver?s quest for an unprecedented eighth world championship at Lakeside, ?The Golden Girl ? The Autobiography of the World?s Greatest Ever Ladies? Darts Player? offers something for all darts enthusiasts, particularly any female who aspires to darts greatness, and randy males.

For members of the male persuasion, of which I include myself (even though my wife painted one of my toenails red over the holiday), the book is full of distractions. But this is a good thing. Managing distractions is just as important when reading about darts as it is while trying to keep ?em straight.

In the ?Golden Girl? the distractions begin early and just keep coming. There?s the part about the ?Orgasm? Gulliver had at the World Cup in Perth. There?s the part about when she dropped her pants in front of Kevin Painter and Martin Fitzmaurice. There are her intimations that she longs to snog rugby star Jonny Wilkinson. And most distracting of all, there?s the part where she exclaims ?My God. Yes! Yes! Yes!? after a particularly significant occasion.

So to all you male darts people out there who may think that plunking down cash for a book about our sport written by a woman is beneath you I encourage you to go out and buy it now. I guarantee you?ll have no problem ?keepin? it straight? while turning the pages.

Seriously, this book is a must-read for anyone of any gender and any darts skill level. Moreover, the trials and tribulations and the determination and perseverance that led, and sometimes haunted, Gulliver?s journey to the apex of her profession hold a lesson for all of us, inside and outside the sport of darts.

Success did not come easily for the Golden Girl. Her womanizing father left home early in her life and married her mother?s best friend, leaving her mother alone to raise her and her four siblings. Always a tomboy, she struggled at school, excelling only in sport. As a young girl she was most proficient at rounders ball and netball which, being an American, I had never heard of before. A friend has explained that both are highly skilled activities that basically involve a ?bunch of young girls running around in short skirts.? Judging from the photos in the book I can fully appreciate why Gulliver?s skills were so appreciated.

She met the love of her life, Paul ?Gully? Gulliver, as a teenager. He was a physical specimen (a rugby player) who turned on more than the tomboy in her. But at the age of nineteen, after they had moved in together, Gully mysteriously contracted Gillian Barre Syndrome (a form of Multiple Sclerosis) and was bedridden for two years. It was during this period that Gulliver began to focus on darts, largely as a mental respite. This was also when she first began to imagine what it might be like to make darts her full time occupation.

By trade Gulliver was a carpenter and joiner. In keeping with her tomboy grounding and because she liked handling wood (no pun intended) she earned her degree in this male dominated profession. For a while she worked for others, then for herself ? and for a year or so she even lectured at a college to women?s carpentry and joinery classes (which she credits as helping to build the self-confidence that would become so important to her darts career).

It was in 1986 that Gulliver became convinced she really could make it with her darts and someday become world champion. From a very young age she always strived to be the best at whatever she took on ? and not just among the ranks of her own gender. Not once did she doubt she could compete on an equal level with the men, not in the workplace and certainly not in the male-dominated world of darts. This later confidence was reinforced during the 1986-1987 darts season when she was accepted for membership on a men?s Superleague team in the Warwickshire Men?s League, and won her first four matches.

Like virtually all darts players, male and female, who aspire to make a go of it among the professional ranks, Gulliver struggled financially. As she began to hit the tournament circuit, without a sponsor, she quickly depleted most of her and Gully?s savings ? and the savings of her supportive mother. Yet she plodded on ? recognizing that even though the payouts were ridiculously small for the ladies compared to the men ? she had no alternative. If she were to achieve her goal of being the world?s best she had no option but to attend as many tournaments as possible to earn precious ranking points.

Gulliver sent hundreds of letters to prospective sponsors but received the courtesy of only the rare reply and those were negative. Investing in ladies? darts was simply a non-starter for anyone in the business sector. Were it not for the intervention of fate it is likely that Gulliver?s career would have ended before it hit its amazing stride.

Read the entire article on Dartoid’s world and tell him sent you!


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