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Somerset based landlord Steve Grubb has become the second player to win a unique sponsorship in the world of darts, with funding coming directly from the fans of the sport. The forum members of Superstars of Darts ( collectively raised over £3,400 and after a few weeks of frenzied voting, Grubb was announced as the chosen player.

Earlier in the year, ^The Viper^ Tony Eccles won the first of these fan based sponsorships and the amount raised by the forum members during 2009 now stands at an impressive £7,500.

^Grubby^ said of securing the sponsorship, "The main thing is how honoured I feel to be chosen as the second representative of the forum. I was hopeful but no more than that of being the chosen player.

"The money will be mainly used for entry fees but some may be used for flights abroad. It will guarantee my participation in all events for the next 6 months or so and I will reassess the situation then. My form is improving, I am mentally stronger, and I know I can make an impact. This has been a huge boost, knowing that people have faith in my ability. The last 32 at the UK Open Finals in Bolton was so important in as much as it meant that I^d been to the latter stage of TV tournament, winning 3 rounds. It showed a few people that my other TV appearance wasn^t a fluke."

Grubb won a keenly contested final vote for the sponsorship with Spain^s Carlos Rodriguez, Holland^s Remco van Eijden and Scotland^s Chris Louden making the final voting round.

There could only be one winner though and it was Steve Grubb, who first leapt into the limelight after qualifying for the World Darts Championship 2009 - and drawing a certain Mr. Phil Taylor in the opening round!

Grubb says of that time, "The build up to the Worlds last year was staggering and Dave Clark reckoned I^d had more press and TV coverage than Phil! Not sure if it was true but it was great to be involved. I still get contacted by BBC Radio Somerset for updates on my progress.

" I was too calm against Phil and without that bit of nerves, I struggled to play many good legs. When I did get going Phil went 180,140,140 etc! The stage at the Ally Pally was unbelievably huge and I was glad that I was able to have a quiet minute on there in the break after the afternoon session. Not only is the stage huge but, it^s also incredibly bright. The High Definition lights are staggeringly bright on you when at the oche and this didn^t help for my first time on TV. No excuses mind you, but a factor!"

And so to the future, Grubb is optimistic : " I will climb the Order of Merit and will make an impact in the Players Championship rankings, on which so many TV tournaments are based. My overall goal is to push myself as far as I can go. I^m 76th at the moment, so Top 60.. Top 50.. Top 40 who knows? BUT I will give it my all!"