Back to reality for unassuming star Warren Parry

LOGAN SAVORY
Last updated 05:00 03/09/2014
HUMBLE HERO: Invercargill darts player Warren Parry back at work as a meat worker after toppling world No 1 Michael van Gerwen in Sydney.
Nicole Johnstone/Fairfax NZ

HUMBLE HERO: Invercargill darts player Warren Parry back at work as a meat worker after toppling world No 1 Michael van Gerwen in Sydney.

Warren Parry
NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ
TRAILBLAZER: Invercargill slaughterman Warren Parry has raised the profile of darts in New Zealand.

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Warren Parry slips on his white freezing-works gumboots and overalls as he resumes his role of meat worker.

For the Invercargill slaughterman and delivery driver, throwing carcasses around is his reality.

However, just six days earlier the part-time darts player was living his dream.

Parry pulled off one of world sport's greatest upsets when he beat world No 1, Dutchman Michael van Gerwen, at the Sydney Masters tournament last week.

It was a result even he had little hope for when, before the game, he said it would be ''the upset of the century''.

Van Gerwen - a full-time professional darts player with more than $3 million career earnings - quickly jetted home after the loss to ponder his next tournament.

Parry headed back to Invercargill and Prime Range Meats,with little fuss and little fanfare.

Prime Range Meats sales manager Ron Watson said Parry was such an understated person most of the 150-odd staff didn't even know he was heading to the Sydney Masters tournament.

In fact, many were not even aware he played darts before he toppled the world No 1, Watson said.

The word had now spread and clients were also now lapping up Parry's new-found fame.

''It's got our customers talking, particularly on the Central Otago run that he does in the truck,'' Watson said. ''Even those guys, most of them didn't even know he was a darts player of any note.''

The humble 50-year-old said it had been a whirlwind six days as he has transformed from relative unknown to creating headlines around the world.

''The media attention has been unreal,'' Parry said.

Media requests are still rolling in. But Parry stresses he's a meat worker first and darts player second.

''I had him working at 4am and I said: 'Look, with all this stuff going on, do you just want to start late and get all your interviews done','' Watson said.

''He said: 'No, no, nobody is around at 4am. I'll work from 4 and I'll be ready for the interviews after that','' Watson said.

Parry will return to the role of darts player in November, when he goes to Perth for the Oceania Masters, a qualifying event for a tournament in England.

That month he will also play in a tournament in Timaru which will find the best South Island player to play in the Australasian Darts series - a series which will feature a leg in Invercargill on January 11 and 12.

- logan.savory@stl.co.nz

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