A darts player is set to be made to change his X-rated nickname after qualifying for the World Darts Championship.
It’s as much a part of the Christmas tradition as tinsel and family arguments at this stage, as many of us settle down by the fireside with a mince pie and - oh, go on then - a glass of mulled wine to watch the tungsten fly at London’s Alexandra Palace.
It’s got a bit of everything - festive cheer, drunkenness, and no amount of silly costumes and nicknames.
That’s just the players, never mind the crowd.
However, one nickname that doesn’t seem as if it will make it to the Ally Pally for this year’s event is that of young up-and-comer Owen Bates.
The Devon-born chucker has been making a name for himself in the darting world, and finished second on the Challenge Tour Order of Merit, earning himself a place in the big dance this December.
Before that, the 20-year-old - currently ranked 120th in the PDC Order of Merit - might have to change his nickname.
You see, while others have nicknames like Gerwyn ‘The Iceman’ Price and Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright, Owen is known as Owen ‘The Master’ Bates.
On X, Owen asked for suggestions for a new nickname after his darts manufacturing sponsor Loxley Darts called him ‘Too Hot for TV’.
Advertising his darts, the company wrote: “The Dartist formerly known as Master Bates...
“Grab the uncensored darts while you still can!”
Owen himself confirmed the nickname change, posting: “Any suggestions on a new nickname?!
“Also, get my darts before it’s too late, these will be the last ever ‘The Master’ darts made!”
Fans have pleaded with the PDC - Professional Darts Corporation - not to make him change his name, but it seems that will fall on deaf ears.
“Let him keep his nickname please PDC,” said one comment.
“Don’t make him change his nickname,” asked a second.
Still, this represents a big step up in Owen’s career, so changing the nickname must only be a small price to pay.
As for the suggestions of a new nickname, most of them are totally unusable.
‘The Jerker’ and ‘Mustard’ are pretty much out of the question, as is ‘The Artist Formerly Known As Master’.
Honourable mentions have to go to anyone who said ‘Kathy’ or ‘Norman’ for thinking outside the box, though.
We may well have to wait until the big day rolls around in December, when the World Darts Championship returns to the Ally Pally, and Christmas can truly begin.
It can’t come around quick enough.Featured Image Credit: PDC/X/@owenbates180