Former Auckland Darts Masters qualifier Stuart Leach passes away
Darts in the Oceanic region was left saddened on Tuesday evening as the death of former Auckland Darts Masters qualifier, Stuart Leach, was confirmed.
Leach, who faced defending champion Adrian Lewis in Auckland four years ago as part of the World Series of Darts annual trip down under, sadly passed away following a battle with cancer.
The exiled New Zealand thrower was based in Brisbane, and competed regularly on the DartPlayers Australia circuit, with his best performance being a run to the quarter-finals on two occasions.
Nevertheless, Leach’s most prolific vein of form arrived in 2013 – when he lifted the World Darts Federation ranked Sunshine State Classic, denying World Championship qualifier James Bailey in the final.
Another highlight in the career of the Kiwi came a year earlier as he completed perfection in Australia, nailing the nine-dart finish during a DPA sanctioned tournament.
Leach also appeared in the International Pro Darts Showdown exhibition series two years ago alongside the likes of 16-time world champion Phil Taylor, Simon Whitlock, Andy Hamilton and Kyle Anderson on Australia’s Gold Coast.
Aside from his obvious playing ability, Leach was a huge advocate of the junior game in New Zealand and travelled across the globe to Gibraltar in September to witness the Kiwi youngsters competing in the JDC World Championship.
In his memory, the DPA Pro Tour will annually host a Stuart Leach Memorial Trophy from next March as part of their circuit – which sees the table-topper qualify for the World Championship.
(Photography: Professional Darts Corporation)