By Phil Lanning
Images copyright of Oche.
WAYNE WARREN revealed that neighbours thought he had “committed a murder” when cops turned up to take his BDO World Championship trophy back.
The 2020 winner suffered the humiliation after BDO boss Des Jacklin ordered the cup to be returned months after his victory at the O2 Indigo, despite receiving less than a quarter of the original prize money.
But Welshman Warren, 58, has now got his hands on a brilliant replica this week after kind-hearted fans raised £2,112 through an online GoFundMe.
He revealed: “I can remember the day as it was yesterday. It was a Sunday morning. A knock on the door. Two police officers there. They asked to come in.
“My little boy, he was five then he was hysterical. He ran up the stairs. Alright, I know the police, they don’t bother me, but to have them in my house, as being world champion as well.
“Even my neighbours were wondering why there was a police van outside. Three got out of a van. One got out of a car. Well the people in my street must have thought I had done a murder or something. I really felt down. My boy was frightened, it was awful, he still brings it up to this day.
“There was one who was about a sergeant, the policewoman and another big heavy guy. They had all these taser guns on them. I thought: What? I haven’t done anything wrong. They came in and said we have to take the Cup. The main man said they had to take it. I had no option. If I didn’t give the Cup over they were going to arrest me.
“As being world champion, people have looked up to me in my locality. And they know me.
“I really felt very small then. It went round like wildfire, I was having phone calls all night. I was having text messages all night. How could I respond to that? I was down. I felt down for a while. I was on a high for so long. And then it was taken away overnight.
“Then you know what the Jacklins done, they drove down and alright, they took it to humiliate me, put it on Facebook. That was the last straw.”
The replica trophy has got all the past BDO Worlds winners on it, dating back from first Welsh winner Leighton Rees in 1978 to Warren in 2020.
But Warren doesn’t plan to keep it all to himself, he wants the trophy to have it’s own life as official silverware, potentially in the new Modern Amateur Darts (MAD) organisation born out on the demise of the BDO.
He added: “It is not mine to keep. It is the people who have donated money towards that. It will be a great cause for everybody if it can go towards MAD or a WDF tournament in amateur darts.”
Warren admits it has been difficult mentally to still work as a roofer after planning to retire from his day job following the Worlds win. But he only received £23,000 of the original £100,000 jackpot and had to return to the ladders during lockdown to pay the bills.
Now he’s excited about being named in the new Seniors World Championship at the start of 2022.
He said: “Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I read about the Seniors World Championship. I am really looking forward to it. I am the current world champion as well. There’s a lot of expectation on my shoulders, which I like. Who knows what comes out of that? There is nothing to say I cannot win that either. I am looking forward to it.”
Warren also wants to thank Red Dragon and his Big 5 Management for their backing, adding: “This now has put me a massive spring in me. I cannot wait to get back out there. The response I have had on social media to me personally, it has been unbelievable like.”