I was a postman before becoming a darts star, I'm known as the Rockstar and beat Phil 'The Power' Taylor when I was 21 | The Sun

A DARTS player known as ‘The Rockstar’ quit his job as a postie to step up on to the oche.

And the decision had paid dividends by the time he was 21 as he defeated the legendary Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor.

Joe Cullen, 34, grew up in Bradford but had no idea that his darts hobby would lead to becoming a full-time career.

After leaving education, he secured a job as a local postman.

But Cullen soon realised he had a talent with the arrows.

And that led to him deciding to give up delivering parcels in 2009 in order to follow his dream of making it in darts.


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Within 12 months he found himself up against iconic Taylor, who won a record 85 major titles and 16 World Championships.

However, instead of being left star-struck, Cullen went on to beat the legend in the John McEvoy Gold Dart Classic in Killarney.

Afterwards he outlined his ambition to one day reach the Premier League – a feat he achieved in 2022.

And it was almost a fairytale start after he finished fourth in the table to qualify for finals night on the last night of league play.

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Cullen defeated Jonny Clayton 10-4 in the semi-finals to then secure a place in the final against Michael van Gerwen.

But toppling MVG proved to be one step too far as he was edged out 11-10 to finish as runner-up.

Cullen did win The Masters last year as he beat Dave Chisnall 11-9 for the prize.

And that was followed by him making his 13th-straight PDC World Darts Championship appearance last winter.

But despite matching his career best performance at Ally Pally, he was knocked out in the last-16 by eventual winner Michael Smith.

Cullen revealed in 2021 that he had tragically lost his mother to cancer while speaking to Sun Sport.

And behind the scenes, away from the intensity of the oche, the star has endured an extremely difficult time.

He has a number of tattoos, but he explained that the glasses one behind his ear is a tribute to his cousin, who passed away at the age of 38 nearly four years ago.

Cullen said: “One day he woke up with a headache – and then he had a brain haemorrhage. I used to see him 2-3 times a week.

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“He was nicknamed four eyes. I was going to get Shaun across my knuckles because that was his name. But I thought the glasses were more of a fitting tribute.

“In the same year that Shaun died, we lost darts player James Barton, who had been on the Tour. Then one of my best friends took his own life last March.”

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