Obituary Valerie (Val) Maytum (1939-2016)
Yesterday 24th July we lost one of the icon of ladies’ darts. Valerie Maytum died peacefully at the age of 76, exactly three years to the day her husband Ron passed away.
It is impossible to define exactly what she has meant for darts in the Netherlands. She started playing in England, shortly before she moved to the Netherlands with her husband Ron in 1980. In England she won the first two tournaments she chose to enter – she turned out be a natural talent. In the Netherlands darts was still in its infancy, so a campaign was started to promote the sport. This would enable her to play to develop further her skills and eventually become one of the world’s best. Together with her husband Ron and her children she formed a team to play in a regional competition. The Maytum family also was one of the founding members of a regional dart federation that still exists to this day.
Sometime during 2005 she finally put down her darts when playing became too difficult.
Not only regionally, but also at national and international levels she became a force to reckon with: she collected first prizes everywhere. Apart from all those championships she especially was proud of four of her achievements: winning the Dutch Open Singles title in 1987 and two WDF titles: the Singles in Copenhagen in 1987 and her pairs title in Las Vegas in 1993 with Francis Hoenselaar. The last one was very special, as the final was played against the English pair. However, the achievement of which she was most proud was that she became the first lady in the world ever to throw a documented 9-dart finish in an official game. This achievement, in 1993, is still exceptionally rare as since then only two ladies were able to repeat this feat.
Playing against Val, always accompanied by her husband Ron, always was fun and remained typically English: a good atmosphere, joking around, supportive, and acknowledging the opponents’ good darts, not forgetting the ever present pint of beer. In her later years she had to wear glasses to have a clear view of the board, but one always had to the feeling that when she said “Oh dear, I forgot me glasses” it was a clear sign that defeat was looming– for the opponent, of course.
One of her last interviews she gave was in 2007, for a regional dart magazine. In it, she looked back at her career in ladies’ darts with pride. She only muttered that she was born a couple of years too early. She would have liked to have earned her share of dart prizes available in today’s game – back in the 80’s and 90’s her exceptional performances would be rewarded with a trophy… a certificate… and a kiss…
We will all surely miss Valerie, a ‘Grand Lady of Darts’ is no more. On behalf of all dart-players, her friends and opponents we would like to offer the Maytum Family our sympathy to wish them all the strength to bear this loss.
Valerie’s funeral arrangements information
The cremation will take place on Friday 29 July at 16.00 hours at the crematorium, Belgenlaan 11 in Uden.
Last respects can be paid at the Uitvaartcentrum of DELA, Belgenlaan 11 in Uden, on Thursday 28 July between 19.00 and 19.45.
No flowers, please. The family have expressed a preference for a donation to be made in the available collection box to the KiKa Foundation (children’s cancer research).