Cork's John O'Shea is rising up the pro darts rankings

Cork's John O'Shea is rising up the pro darts rankings

John O’Shea with the European Darts title .

PROFESSIONAL dart player John O’Shea is flying the flag for Cork Darts on a regular basis when he travels around Europe to partake in all the PDC tournaments. 

John, who hails from the Farranree area lives with his wife Laura, two daughters, Kellie and Maisie, and two sons Jake and Kenneth.

John arrived back home from Germany last week, were he played two tournaments against the best 128 players in the world who have PDC tour cards.

In the first tournament, O’Shea won two games and reached the last 64 stage. 

Then, on the second day he lost out 6-5 to the World number one player Peter (Snakebite )Wright, in what was an very close and exciting contest. Despite losing that game, he still managed to reached the last 32 in that PDC Players Championship 17 event.

John or (The Joker as he is known) won his all-important tour card last February at the Q School in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England.

There were over 600 dart players from all over the world all battling it out in the first day. 

On the second day there were only 128 players remaining from the previous day of darts, with only 11 players getting tour cards at the end of two grueling days of darts action.

John starting playing darts at the age of 16 under the direction of Freddie O’Callaghan at the Holly Hill Bar. 

Even at that young age, O’Shea showed great potential and he signed for St Vincent’s Hurling and Football Club's dart team on Blarney Road. 

John O’Shea sighing his sponsorship contract with Darren Fitton of Mission Darts earlier this year.
John O’Shea sighing his sponsorship contract with Darren Fitton of Mission Darts earlier this year.

He played with Jason and Adrian Kavanagh, Gary Harris, and Darren Downey, and they were very successful winning every trophy that could be won. 

He played with Vincent’s for five years before joining the Island Tavern team on Military Hill. 

Again, the Joker played with some superb players with the Tavern, Martin Cotter, Sean Daly, Terry Power and one of his best friend John Dinnybobs McCarthy ( RIP) to name but a few. 

He played there for three years and again won multiple trophies for the bar. 

After the Island Tavern closed John joined the Gerald Griffin Bar. 

He played there for two years with Paul O’Neill, Donal Martin ( RIP) and Dave Looney. 

His next stop was the Tower Bar were he joined up with Stephen Carmody, Stevie Hill and Dinnybobs again.

“I started darts for fun, but after a couple of years I was hooked and was practicing two or three hours a day,” John said.

“I then played with a couple of bars over a period of ten or twelve years, winning multiple trophies. 

"The last bar I played with was the Tower Bar. I called into the Joshua Tree one Friday and Dinnybobs was sitting in the Cranky Corner. 

"I was only in the bar when I was summoned over to Dinny. 

"He put his hand out to me to shake hands and with a big smile he said: “come down to the Tower Bar and I will win another few trophies for you.”

I just shook his hand when he burst out laughing: “Your sighed now Sheaboy,” he said. 

"His death a few weeks ago really shook me, as we were very close friends. When I got to the final of PDC event a few weeks ago I felt he was on my shoulder because I threw the best darts of my career to date."

John has won two All-Ireland titles with Cork, won a European bronze medal playing for Ireland, two Irish Masters, 20 National individual titles, and many local individual titles.

He has also won multiple Doubles titles and won six Cork Doubles in a row with Martin Cotter in a glittering amateur career.

John O’Shea centre, professional dart player Alan Soutar and Paul Brown of Big Five Sports Management on his left and professional dart player Josh Rock on his right.
John O’Shea centre, professional dart player Alan Soutar and Paul Brown of Big Five Sports Management on his left and professional dart player Josh Rock on his right.

John also won the World Masters in 2019 and is currently the European Champion.

O’Shea joined Paul Brown of the Big Five Sports Management in April and he travels to events with other PDC players Alan Soutar, and young gun Josh Rock. 

He also gets his darts sponsored by Mission Darts England.

O’Shea got to his first PCC Players Championship 14 final last month in Wigan.

He beat World No 15 David Chisnall 7-4 in the semi final, however, he lost to the World No 4 Michael (Bullyboy) Smith 8-5. 

This was a great achievement by O’Shea in the first few months of his professional dart career. 

He is moving up the PDC rankings at pace and he is 84th at the moment, but all that could change in the coming weeks, as all the players are chasing points to be at the televised PDC World Dart Championships at the Alexandra Palace London.

“One of my first goals when I started out was to get as much points as I can before Ally Pally. 

"Getting to the final last month gave me a massive boost, because I had to beat some very good players to get to the final.” 

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