From the collection of cups and trophies displayed proudly in the corner of the room, it’s clear darts is something of a passion for Rob Franks and his family.

The dad-of-two admits the whole family often decamps into the front room for a match or two.

But Rob, from Parkstone, has had to alter his game considerably after becoming disabled earlier this year, and now plays for the World Disability Darts Association (WDDA).

The 36-year-old, who first began playing darts five years ago, lost all feeling in one leg below the knee following an operation to remove a tumour.

“I had a bone tumour in my femur two years ago,” he said.

“It came back in December last year and I had another operation to take it away. They cut through the nerve in my leg and I couldn’t feel the bottom of my leg.”

In July, Rob suffered another setback after breaking the same leg playing cricket. He now walks with a crutch and wears a leg brace, but is determined to keep up his active lifestyle.

“When I became disabled I thought I wasn’t going to be able to do it anymore,” he explained.

“I just threw myself into all disabled sports. I used to play rugby and cricket – now I play disabled cricket for England and I’m the captain for disabled cricket in Dorset.

“I’m in a darts league in Wallisdown and I play twice a week with teams. I found out about the WDDA and I went to the World Masters in Hull in October, met all my idols – they all support it – and got to the semi-finals.”

Rob, who is sponsored by world darts brand Winmau and also Darts Performance Centre in New Milton, is now on a mission to raise the profile of disabled darts, and to find himself a third sponsor.

“The founder of the WDDA is in Australia, so he needed someone to run it in the UK, so I help to run it now,” he said.

“As far as I know, I’m the only disabled player in Dorset. Our main aim is to get disabled darts to the Paralympic Games in 2016 and I want to get WDDA to have a tour for disabled players attached to the main tour, and to have a finale at Lakeside.

“It’s one of those games that anyone can have a go at. The more people that can get into WDDA the better really. It’s definitely on the up.”

In the meantime, Rob is busy perfecting his new stance, and is determined to scoop the title at next year’s WDDA World Masters.

“It took me about six months to get a stance that I’m happy with – I can put weight on my leg, but I can’t feel it, so I’m having to stand more upright. It’s bizarre, but it’s the hand that’s been given, you have to get on with it. I love it.”

  • Rob is currently seeking a third sponsor. If you can help, contact him on Twitter @robfranksphoto or email To find out more about disabled darts and the WDDA, visit or search for the WDDA on Facebook