THE shining light of Kendal darts has done more than just oche to qualify for a major international event.

Tony Newell, 32, beat three time World Champion John Part on his way to securing victory at a qualifying event in Wigan that ensured his place on the European Tour in Gibraltar.

It is a momentous achievement for Newell who has now qualified for his first European Tour Event within just two years of turning professional.

He now goes head to head against Europe's best arrowsmiths to compete for a share of the £115,000 tournament pot.

Speaking to the Gazette about his route to Gibraltar, Newell, a former caretaker at Windermere School, said: "I felt good. I'd been practicing well over Christmas and done well at a couple of local championships so my game was there. I grew up watching John Part and Bobby George play each other in finals and I was just thinking 'do it for Bobby' because he beat him and I was a huge fan!"

But beating a three time World Champion in the semi-final did not guarantee his place at the oche at the European Championships as he still beat the relatively unknown Darren Weaver.

"I knew that I had a game after Part and while it was the biggest scalp of the day it would have meant nothing if I didn't qualify," said Newell.

The event in Gibraltar takes place on March 20-22 and will be shown live on Dutch television as well as streamed by various betting companies such as William Hill.

Newell is well aware that this exposure will raise his status on the world stage.

He said: "This will be a new experience for me, being on stage in front of everybody but it's where you want to be - it's showcasing yourself."

For the first time in his career, Newell will have something other than throwing his darts to think about as all competitors have a dramatic entrance through the crowd with music and walk-on girls.

Newell remains optimistic that he can overcome all the distractions.

"I'm going to say now that I won't be nervous, but probably just before I go on I might be," he said.

The top 16 seeds go straight through to the later rounds but Newell has to battle it out from the start, something he is hoping to do with great success.

"I would like to get through the first round," he said.

"Then the top 16 come in and I could be facing anybody like Michael Van Gerwen for example. Obviously they are going to be the heavy favourites but I have got three darts just like them and as long as I play well I'll be happy."

Newell has already beaten Peter 'Snakebite' Wright and Andy Hamilton in his fledgling career and needs to keep notching up those kind of scalps if he is to keep his professional card for next year.

He said: "I need to break into the top 64 to keep my professional card. I'm ranked 104 at the moment and qualifying for events like this is a massive step. I'm confident of keeping my card and playing well as I've beaten some top players. I'm getting more consistent at beating people at that level."

Newell has three sponsorship spaces left on his shirt for the European Tour and anybody wishing to sponsor him should contact