MIKE WARBURTON wants the whole of Wrexham and North Wales to be cheering him on from their living rooms tonight.

With the sporting world at a virtual standstill amid the coronavirus outbreak, online darts tournaments have been bucking the trend with Wrexham darts star Warburton taking his place on the oche tonight in the latest Modus Icons of Darts group matches.

Warburton, 35, was only asked last week if he wanted to be involved in the online darts competition and tonight he will take centre stage on laptop screens across the world in a tournament that has really taken off in a sport-deprived world.

“I got a call from Mark Webster asking if I’d been interested,” said the father-of-four from Gwersyllt, who works at Airbus.

“I spoke to someone at Modus and the next day, a tripod and HD camera arrived in the post.

The Leader:

Mike Warburton

“My dartboard is in the living room in the house so all I’ve had to do is move a bookcase and put up a new light to get everything set up.

“We did the tests at the weekend to make sure the camera and wifi worked okay. It did. So we’re ready to go.”

Tonight’s tournament will give Warburton, a Welsh international the chance to showcase his talents after a stellar 12 months that have seen him rise to the top of the current BDO world rankings.

And he’ll face Fallon Sherrock, who hit the headline for her run in this year’s World Championships. Also in the group are Martin Adams, David Evans, Wessel Nijman and Kyle McKinstry.

“Obviously a lot of close friends and family know I’ll be live tonight but it would be great for the whole of Wrexham and North Wales to log in and watch me play,” he added.

“It gives me a great platform but I think I’m more nervous than I’ve ever been at playing in a tournament.

“There’s the worry of everything technically being set up correctly and then I’ve got four children im the house. And they have been warned that daddy doesn’t want any of them coming into the lounge and screaming!

“It will be weird because I’ll have headphones and then I’ll have to shout out my own score. Normally I’ll just be stepping up at throwing three darts but I’ve got the camera and I’ll have the laptop set up in the lounge too.

Wife Lucy will therefore play a key role in the Warburton household tonight - not that it will stop Taylor, Summer, Caleb and Inira cheering their dad on towards what could be another famous victory.

Warburton also had special words for his mother, Lorraine, who passed away on Mother’s Day.

“I’d like a mention for my mum, who we sadly lost this year. She would have loved to have been watching me tonight,” added the Airbus machinist, who has managed to work the darts tournament around his shifts at the Broughton plant.

So after getting through all the pressure of setting up he self-made lounge studio, Warburton will now set his flight-sights on winning the six-man group as he bids to keep his good form going.

It all started last year when reaching the BDO World Masters semi-finals, winning the Welsh Open and picking up a double in Ireland.

The impressive run of form continued across the Irish Sea when he triumphed at the Isle of Man Festival, lifting the Sunday’s Singles title at the same venue where Fallon Sherrock walked away with the women’s title.

Warburton eased past Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams 5-2 in the final after beating Freddie Box 4-1 and Scott Williams 5-4 en route to the showpiece event in Douglas.

“The Isle of Man was good although it was touch and go whether it would be played as it was the final sporting weekend before lockdown in March,” added Warburton, whose ranking points total took him to top spot in the current BDO world standings.

“The world rankings are over a two year period and I’m fifth in those at the moment but this season, which runs from October, I’m top of the rankings list. A position I’m really proud of.

“With a lot of people watching tonight, I just hope I can do everyone proud.

“There’s a lot at stake and there will be millions watching. Because there is no sport taking place, betting firms across the world are interested in this event.”

And if you want to watch the action unfold, log on to: dartshop.tv and then head to modus icon of darts live stream.