Interviewing the "Queen of The Palace": Fallon Sherrock

Fallon Sherrock, a trailblazing women in snooker discusses her journey in our exclusive interview. She reflects on her ground-breaking achievements, emphasizing the challenges she has faced in a male-dominated sport. Sherrock highlights her commitment to practice and mental resilience as key factors in her success. She also shares insights on future goals and her role in inspiring upcoming female players.

Fallon Sherrock
Wade McElwain

Written by: Wade McElwain

(Senior Sports Writer)

Last updated: 2023-11-29

5 minutes read

She’s the one who changed the women’s game, a pioneer, and arguably the brightest female prospect in professional darts. Join SportsBoom’s voice of choice, Wade McElwain, as he grabs a chat with Fallon "Queen of the Palace" Sherrock.

In an energetic 19-minute break from the 2023/24 Paddy Power World Darts Championship draw, we hear about everything from Fallon’s express jet to fame to meeting royalty, and the future of female darts. 

A Meteoric Rise To Stardom

The embodiment of energy, Fallon knows the impact of what she’s achieved and has no shyness about admitting it. “I am so proud of myself,” she says, reminiscing. “Take me back a few years ago, I’d be like, ‘No, I’ll never do anything like that.’”.

Her excitement is infectious in the best of ways as she relives her Ally Pally memories and how her journey has not only changed her life, but changed the women’s game, and darts in general.

“I never thought I’d be the one that kind of changed everything,” she confesses. “I always thought it’d be Lisa or Trina or Anastasia they were always the pioneers for the women’s game.”

But change everything she did, and as Fallon talks us through her journey from watching her idols on TV, to deciding she wanted to play darts too, realising her natural talent, and her first qualifying, it’s clear she takes none of this for granted.

Sherrock then gives us a rare insight into what it’s like to go from zero to hero. “I won the game and within...it must have been about 10 minutes my manager said ‘the whole world’s gone mental!’.”

She goes on to elaborate, “They put me straight into the press room saying ‘this person’s tweeted, and that person’s tweeted’, it was really when I got back to the hotel that it all sunk in, they were like ‘You’ve got to go on Good Morning Britain at six o’clock in the morning!’. The next day it was bang, bang, bang, each interview, I cannot remember that next day at all, it was just so manic.” 

Status Symbols

Fallon describes how life unfolded since that first win and her catapult to stardom. It’s easy to picture her “absolutely jumping around” when Twitter gave her the blue tick she’d wanted for so long.

That status symbol was how she knew “the whole world’s changed”. Though it’s not the only symbol the talented young professional received…

When asked about her MBE, Fallon fearlessly admits, “I was so nervous getting it,” and we’re not surprised especially since they “don't tell you who you’re gonna meet”.

Fallon goes on to paint an entertaining picture for us of the day – her wearing an oversized fascinator, meeting Prince William (“the main person I actually did wanna meet”), being unable to hear the decorum instructions, thinking “I’ll just follow the next person in front of me” and then being the first name called out to meet the Prince, and falling completely speechless while receiving her honour!

“I’m just gonna have to wing this,” she admits thinking when faced with her royal encounter. 

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I could see everyone looking at me because I've got this massive fascinator on, because I thought we had to wear a massive fascinator! So I'm like, oh my God, I was the only one in there with this massive headpiece!

Fallon on the complications of receiving her MBE

Women in Snooker and advising the next generation

Looking to the future of women’s darts, one word leaps from Fallon’s tongue time and again, “consistency”.

“The standard has gotten a lot better than a few years ago but there’s only a few female players that probably could compete against the men on a regular basis,” she says, in no uncertain terms.

“You need to run about a 95 to 100 average consistently to keep up with them,” she states, after recognising that the averages among male professionals are “just increasing”. Still, Fallon is undaunted by the challenge.

“Probably another five years,” she guesses, when considering how long before more women are regularly ranked in the top 32. “At the moment, there’s probably about two or three of us that could but I don’t think we’re as consistent we might get top 64, but I don’t know about 32.”

With her eyes on the prize of consistency and match practice, Fallon shows she knows her gameplan for the years and games ahead, and is hot in pursuit of any shot she can take.

“The more opportunities us women get, that’s where it’s gonna happen,” she says confidently.

And to all the ambitious hopefuls and the next generation of girls aspiring for a career in darts like her, Fallon enthusiastically suggests they “join a youth club that’s what I did”.

“Just find your closest one,” she elaborates. “You don’t need a specific standard to start.” That’s how you’ll develop, recognise your talent, enter competitions, and make a real go of it, she says. “You progress from there starting off little and working your way up.” 

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I am so proud of myself, take me back a few years ago and I’d be like - "No, I’ll never do anything like that!"

Fallon on making history at the PDC World Champs

Handling the pro atmosphere

Being a pro comes with many burdens, but none perhaps more than being a famous woman on social media. Fallon has a handy tactic for handling the trolling and occasionally deplorable online behaviour though…

“I just ignore it. I don’t go on my social. I only use it if I need to,” she says – easier said than done, for some.

But the Queen of the Palace also doles out the advice that “a lot of people hide behind their social media accounts - they never say it to you in person but we should be able to do whatever we want without getting hate.”

As any true pro in any popular sport knows, the spotlight also highlights the darkness. “What people put online is not very nice,” Fallon admits, “but I’ve just had to learn how to deal with that. At the start I’d read everything and it gets demoralising but even the top players get it.”

When asked about the energy of playing stages like Ally Pally, we get a feel for how Fallon really operates. “I just thrive on it, it gives you a kind of buzz, like an adrenaline rush,” she describes, and we can only nod in agreement as she expresses how great it is to be a part of that vibe.

“As long as you don’t get dragged into it all,” Fallon adds, musing on the songs the crowd often sing. “If I started looking out, I’d be distracted.”

Music, secret strategies, and the colour pink

There’s a dash of regret as Fallon talks about her walk-out song, Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night – a choice made when she was around 16 and playing Youth County. “Now I’m like, ‘Why did you pick that?’,” she laughs. “But it’s stuck to me now. Everyone just puts the song with me if I did change it, it’s not right.”

With a sniffle for emphasis, she goes on to explain her secret strategy for playing better – feeling unwell! “It makes you play better because you’ve got to concentrate more.” She goes on to insist, “If I feel really well I get complacent!”

“As long as I don’t fall over, I’m alright,” she jokes, before showing her admiration for some of the younger players this year…

“They just love the excitement, they just love darts, they just want to play their darts and they have no fear about anything. It’s a whole different atmosphere.” And it’s an attitude Fallon clearly respects because when you “take it like a normal game of darts and enjoy it, that’s when the best games come out.”

When asked how she balances herself and stabilises her mental health, Fallon shares a tactic many people could stand to emulate. “I cut myself off,” she admits. “I turn my phone off and all my friends know I do this, so they’re not shocked if they don’t hear from me.”

She explains how she gives herself the space and pampering she needs to shed her worries, all while making sure she has systems in place to ensure no important balls are dropped.

In a final parting titbit, Fallon reveals how her now-signature pink was never an intentional choice, but actually a spur-of-the-moment decision to change from her favourite blue shirt to avoid wearing the same colour as Mikuru.

“She played before me and I didn't want to go up in the same colour, so I put my pink one on and now it’s like my lucky colour, so I’m not gonna change it.”  

Thanks for the unintentional branding lesson, Fallon. It’s been a blast!

Wade McElwain

Wade McElwain

Wade McElwain is our Mr. NFL, a bona fide North American sports nut who knows about NBA, NHL, MLB, PGA plus MMA boxing and more. Originally from Canada, Wade is also an international award-winning stand-up comedian; host of numerous TV game shows; and a TV producer & writer. He also runs NFL in London-the largest NFL fan group in Europe, and has hosted NFL events at Wembley and around the world. Yes, he lives alone and does nothing but watch sports.

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