Golden Girl Opens Up

Red Dragon Darts

The remarkable Trina Gulliver has had a 2022 worth remembering. After some very difficult times, she has bounced back to take her, well earned, place in the latest explosion of interest in Women’s darts. The 10-time World Champion claimed her first PDC title this Summer with her Women’s Series victory.

Gulliver was the first Women’s World Darts Champion, playing continuously for England from 1997 to 2014. During this period Trina earned 63 England Caps wining on an impressive 55 occasions, she was capped more than any other female darts player.

Our friends at AceOdds caught up with Trina before the start of the PDC’s flagship 2023 World Championship at Ally Pally:

PDC picks for the championships, who is the one to beat?

“Favourite for the PDC champs I think in my eyes, Michael Smith has a good chance, he’s got over that line now and he’s over his reputation of getting to a lot of finals and getting over the line. Won the grand slam recently and is the one to beat.”

Which female do you think is going to get the furthest in the competition?

“I think Beau. Beau will get the furthest. The way she’s playing at the moment. Her form is really good at the moment and hitting constant 90 averages so I think she will get the furthest on present form.”

Who’s your underdog pick? Who’s going to pull a few surprises?

“I think Josh Rock. Or even Ross Smith. Ross has had a good season, won the European title earlier in the year and is on the high. He’s playing well, he’s hit a couple of 9 darters in the previous tournament and is flying high.”

Tour cards losing after the champs, how hard are these to get back for the likes of – Scott Mitchell, Glen Durrant, John Henderson

“It’s very hard. It’s a big hit losing the tour card and is a long way back. It’s one thing getting there and even harder to retain it. I think Glen has made the decision not to go for the tour card this year. There will be a few that won’t. It takes a lot of commitment and good form.” 

Fallon Sherrock was somewhat controversially included in this year’s championships. She’s claimed recently that she was hated by rivals on the women’s tour, what do you think to that and have you ever experienced anything like that? 

“With Fallon. I know she’s said she is hated. But I think she’s taken it out of context as I’ve not seen it. I’ve been at a few PDC women’s events and I’ve not seen it. Beau played really well against her and took out a 158 against her And you know, people were applauding that, although you can’t, you’re not supposed to applaud because that’s the environment. I don’t think that anyone is against her. We’re all enemies on the oche, everyone wants to do well. But off the oche, we’re all doing the same thing and you have to get on.“

Were the rules bent at all to allow Fallon into the tournament? 

“The situation with that was that the rule wasn’t put in place before they played the Match Play. So the rule was brought in after. Wayne was right in saying the goal posts moved slightly. But I can see why they did though. Because Fallon has good media attention and puts bums on seats. She has got a bit of backlash from it from a few players as well. Other players are doing the tour and are spending money trying to achieve this and for this rule to come in is a bit moving the goalposts and it makes it difficult to others. But I can see why they have done it. But they have put Fallon in a difficult situation.”

What’s it like playing in what was the mens championship on stage and in particular playing the men?

“Yeah, I think for one, they’re (the men) under pressure first of all. Because you’re not expected to win if you like. You are a bit more now compared to when I played. But when I used to play at the top we didn’t have much media attention. Even the attention I got then wasn’t as high as Fallon’s now. People’s expectations of you and the pressure that Fallon, Lisa are under is immense and you know that can tell on each game. It’s how people handle it on the day and on the stage.“

Beau Greaves, 18 years old – how good is she, how good can she get? 

“Beau is fantastic at the moment, her form is magical and like I say she is hitting 90 plus averages. I wasn’t that good at 18. I can honestly say that. But she’s got a big future ahead of her. Like I say at 18 she is massive now and her potential is huge. She is going to take some beating if she says that form. “

How good were you at that age?

“Right. Yeah, she’s definitely better. Beau is definitely better.”

You championed a long time for the women’s game and for you to have your own tournaments. What’s the future for the women’s game in your eyes? 

“It’s a bit of a combination at the moment. The fact that the PDC has bought along the women’s series and are progressing with that from 12 events last year to 24 this year. It’s coming along really nicely. The PDC has said they aren’t giving world champs to the ladies, so their view is women are going to compete against the men. However, they are giving us the platform and media attention to elevate the women’s game to get sponsorship and everything. So I think that’s the way forward. WDF has their own ranking system as well for the lakeside, for where the women have their own stand-alone tournament. And a new one at the ADC. Generally, the women’s game right now is very good and we are spoiled for choice at the moment. “

Pay is something that has always been interesting. Could you tell us a bit about what the prize money used to be like in the game in particular compared to the men?

“Unfortunately it has changed a lot, but fortunately for those playing now. The women’s world champs used to be £2000 for the winner and I won that 7 years on the trot. And if people introduce me as a 10 time world champion you think pound signs but that’s not the case. If it was nowadays i would have quite a bit of money behind me. But it is progressing well and with more media attention we get more sponsors. And ladies darts is brilliant TV, it has come on leaps and bounds and everyone likes the ladies game. 

At the time men’s was £50k for the men’s winner whilst we were £2k. And after a few years, it went up to £4k for the ladies and the men’s went up to £100k. For the world champs the most I’ve ever won for one world champs is £10k. And that was at the lakeside. And that was in 2016. “

How does a young female watching the game, get into darts? Because it’s one of the most accessible sports isn’t it?

“There are lots of youth systems in place now. So you can still play for the county, got the county youth system which you have a lot of people start with. And that’s through the UK DA. That’s where a lot of young players start and then there is the ADC academy too and the PDC do as well. So it is far more accessible now than it was in my day. It all starts in the pub. That’s where everyone starts the game. That’s where it comes from. But now you find youth clubs that do the darts. It is out there. And that’s the way forward.” 

Can you see a female winning the PDC championships in the near future? 

“No, I can’t. The reason being the men have got so much more strength in depth. I think we can get close, but I can’t see it in the next couple of years. It’s like a tier system and the men are progressing every time and the women have got some catching up to do. We can get the averages but we aren’t consistent enough. 

I’ll be dead and buried by then. I don’t know, but quite a way off. A few years off. Ideally, the PDC would give us our own world championships, that kind of thing, but I don’t think they will do that at this point in time. But you never know.”

You’ve had some rivalries in the past, which ones do you most look forward to now from a neutral point of view, who do you look forward to seeing head to head?

“One I’d like to see is Van Gerwen against Van Barneveld. I don’t know if they will meet. Reason being is cus barney is from my era. He did retire and now he’s come back into the game and he’s enjoying it. He’s playing well. When he was winning his world champs, I remember Michael was 15 in the youth system. Michael has emulated barney, same country, both Dutch, that would be interesting. The youngster against the oldy. “

Who was the toughest opponent you’ve ever faced?

“Francis Hoenselaar who was also dutch. We were in so many finals together. It was always us two and still keep in touch. She’s great. But yeah she was my biggest rival.”

What’s next for you? Do you see yourself getting back on the big stage?

“Planning to tiptoe back into it. Gently gently. I took a couple of years out cus i was ill, so I’m steadily weaning myself back into it. I’m hoping I’ll do ok. I’m playing better than I thought I would be. So that’s good. “

You mentioned your illness there. 3 years sober is a big achievement, must be proud of yourself.

“Yes 3 years sober, It’s been hard, that’s why I took a couple of years out cus i was so poorly. Lucky to survive really. I’m a recovering alcoholic. But it’s been tough. Travelling all over the world and being away from home. And drink took a hold. It’s all around you in darts, that’s why I’m tip toeing back in. seeing if i can handle being in that environment. With the amount of alcohol that is flowing around you. As it happens I’ve played a few competitions and I’m actually enjoying playing sober. And I’m playing ok. You get that stigma where you think i have to have a few drinks to take the edge off. But I don’t need that now. And that’s a great feeling. It’s a psychological thing. There is a lot of players that do drink in the game, but there are others who are t total.”

How has that culture changed from when you started in the game to now?

“It’s changed slightly and it’s changed slightly that the alcohol is still there. But you used to be able to drink on stage and even smoke in tv events. But that has been taken away from the tv. But in the practice room you can have a drink or go outside and have a smoke if you’re a smoker. But the upfront image wise is a lot different than it used to be. In the past it was  all beer bellies, i’ve been working on mine for several years and it still hasn’t happened you know. It’s got that stigma attached to it where it was in 80s. It’s more fitness motivated now, more about health.”


Image source:

Grab a copy of the 50th Anniversary Darts World 581 here (while stock lasts) or the new Issue 582 here :

The Darts World 50 limited edition set is available to order (Here) in your choice of pack/bundle.

Also Available Free: Darts World Extra 7 – Palace Prelude

Darts World Magazine‘s fantastic value bundles:
Subscribe or purchase your copy


Latest articles

Newsletter Signup

Previous article
Next article

Related articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here