BDO World Championships: Can Jeff Smith emulate hero John Part?

By Phil CartwrightBBC Sport at Lakeside Country Club
Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith won the Canadian Open title last summer
BDO World Championships 2015
Date: 3-11 January 2015 Venue: Lakeside Country Club, Frimley Green
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, online, mobiles, tablets and BBC Sport app

Seven of the eight men in the BDO World Championship quarter-finals hail from Great Britain and Canada's Jeff Smith, the only overseas player left in the draw, is aiming to silence them all.

"The Silencer", as he is known, has beaten two seeds on his way to the last eight, becoming the first man from Canada to reach that stage of the competition since John Part won the first of his three world titles in 1994.

"He's my hero when it comes to darts," qualifier Smith, 39, told BBC Sport.

"You've got to give John credit for what he's done over the years. The guy's done all there is to do and, with any luck, I'll follow in his footsteps."

Lakeside has a habit of creating unlikely stars and 2015 has been no exception.

Sweden's Peter Sajwani provided the shock of the first round, defeating top seed James Wilson, and then delivered some memorable post-comments on the BBC, including thoughts on gorillas playing golf.

Lakeside quarter-final draw
Robbie Green v Jeff SmithDarryl Fitton v Glen Durrant
Brian Dawson v Scott MitchellRoss Montgomery v Martin Adams

Sajwani's dream soon died in the second round, but Smith's lives on.

The Frimley Green debutant needed to beat New Zealand veteran Mike Day in a preliminary-round tie just to progress to the main draw.

Wins over Wesley Harms and Gary Robson, seeded eight and nine respectively, have taken him through to a quarter-final with Wallasey's Robbie Green on Friday evening.

By day, Smith sprays vehicles at a car repair shop in New Brunswick and throwing darts in front of 1,000 spectators at Lakeside has been an enjoyable aside.

"I love my job but it's nice to be able to get away and play these tournaments too," he said.

"I'm not used to signing autographs and giving interviews. This doesn't happen at home and it's been a good experience for me.

"Darts in Canada is nothing like this. We need performances like this and players in these championships in order to build the sport back home.

"I've got so much support that was never there before," said Smith after his second-round win over Robson. "I'll be up all night reading messages on Twitter and on my phone."

Winning the BDO World Championship at Lakeside proved to be the starting point of a successful career for Part, who won his other two world titles with the PDC.

If Smith can do likewise on Sunday, he may inspire a new generation of darts players in Canada, just as his hero Part did 21 years ago.

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