Ipswich Town’s Aaron Cresswell hopes to steal march on team-mates at academy darts event at Greshams

Aaron Cresswell looks like being the player to beat when the Ipswich Town Academy Association holds a special ‘Legends of Darts Night’, at Greshams Sport & Social Club, on Tuesday.

The highly-rated left-back will be one of a number of players, past and present – including ex-defenders John Wark and Fabian Wilnis – that will take to the oche at the February 18 event designed to raise money for the Blues’ academy.

Hosted by “The Voice” Russ Bray, along with PDC player and Ipswich Town fan Kevin Painter, and 1983 Embassy world champion Keith Deller, tickets are priced at £20 per head (including bangers and mash) or £50 (limited VIP tickets).

There will be several games and exhibitions on the night, including ones featuring Deller and Painter, while there will also be an auction and raffle of darts and football memorabilia prizes, alongside a Q&A session during dinner.

“Ticket sales for the event have gone absolutely brilliant,” said Ipswich’s Deller, who works for Sky Sports as a ‘spotter’ during the company’s televised tournaments

“We went through the players that are going to be there, and it was quite impressive.

“Aaron (Cresswell) has been practicing with some darts he has borrowed from me, belonging to Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld, while John Wark will be there along with Fabian Wilnis, who I think thought he needed to get involved, considering the new world champion is a Dutchman!

“I know Aaron has got a dartboard now and is trying to get a head-start on his team-mates.

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“He will be wanting to play Phil Taylor or Michael van Gerwen next, which might not be such a good idea!”

Deller hopes the event, which was the brainchild of Billericay-based Painter, can become a regular fixture.

“We would like to make it an annual event, and I might look to bring down Eric Bristow next year,” added Deller who will have the original Embassy World Championship Trophy, which belongs to Bristow – after he won it three years on the trot – at the event.

“Kevin (Painter) is a big Ipswich Town fan, like myself, and a season ticket-holder and a lot of the players follow him as he still plays on the PDC Tour.

“I think it was Kevin that brought up the idea with Simon Milton and I was asked to come on board.”

He added: “I was a ball-boy at the club, I took the world trophy on the pitch and I have always been made to feel welcome there ever since.

“Ipswich has always been known as a family club with a rich tradition of bringing through players from the youth set-up.

“We want to see that continue to happen.”

Standard tickets for the night, which starts at 7pm, can be bought at www.itfcdirect.com, or VIP tickets from Simon Milton on 01473 400540.

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