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AT THREE YEARS OLD, Nathan Bradley shouldbe doing what most other toddlers his age do:kicking footballs, playing Stickle Bricks andstaring zombie-like at the television for hourson end. Instead, darts’ newest and youngeststar spends his days throwing little magneticarrows at a little magnetic dartboard. And he’sgood, too – so good that Phil ‘The Power’ Taylorhas tipped him for the top. As Nathan perfectedhis craft in the background, Sport

asked proudmum Amber to explain a few things…

So, Amber, how does a three-year-old boy get into darts?
"Well, he’s always watched it with his dad onthe TV, but then one day he pushed the chairup to the dartboard, got the darts out and juststarted throwing them. Then we noticed hewas getting obsessed with watching it on TV.Instead of watching children’s programmes,he’d record it and play it back again and again."
How often does he play?
"He plays darts on and off all day. I’d say heprobably puts in four or five hours of practicea day, and he’s a bit of perfectionist. There’sa dartboard in the front room and one in hisbedroom, and there’s darts all over the house.It’s not something we make him do. He willplay with cars or watch TV, like a normal littleboy, but it’s mainly darts!"

Is he aiming for specific numbers yet?
"Not numbers, no, but he likes you to sit nextto the dartboard and point to a part you wanthim to throw at – and nine times out of 10he goes where you want him to. It’s alreadyhelping him with his numbers – he’s knows allof them from one to 20. He does know he hasto finish on a double and he understands thebasics of darts, mainly because he watches itso much – he’d be daft not to pick it up!"

Who does he prefer to watch on TV – and does he mimic their style?
"He pretends to be different darts players. Helikes to copy the walk-on, wave at the crowdand things like that. There’s a few he prefers towatch, like James Wade, Michael van Gerwenand Phil Taylor, but he likes all of them. Hecopies the way they celebrate – it’s reallycomical to watch."

He’s already played against ‘King of Bling’ Bobby George, hasn’t he?
"Yes, he played a leg against Bobby live on TV.Bobby asked Nathan to hit the bull to win thematch, and Nathan’s first dart went straight inthe bull. He loves all the fuss and attention."

So would you be happy for him to become a professional darts player?
"If that’s what makes him happy, yes. It’s notsomething we’re going to force him into, buthe does seem to have a natural talent for it."


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