KEEGAN BROWN has ditched the darts to work flat out in hospital during the coronavirus crisis.

The world No 30 took on extra shifts as an NHS employee at his Carisbrooke base on the Isle of Wight.

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That means his love of the arrows naturally must take a back seat while the Covid-19 virus gets a grip of the entire UK.

Brown, 27, revealed: “I work in the blood-science lab as an assistant. But I have taken on extra hours to help support the service.

“I’m still trying to make time to practise — but feel like I am needed more at work for now.

“Currently I’m still working in the lab but my daily tasks are more varied due to the situation of Covid-19 and with us unfortunately being the only hospital on the island.

“Everyone is very determined and committed to play their part now.

“And I could not be prouder to be part of such a team.

“In some ways, yes, it’s much busier but in other areas it’s as normal.

“I’m not doing longer hours as such, just more days. This may change as circumstances change.”

Brown was named after football legend Kevin Keegan and hails from Durham — where his dad was a massive Newcastle fan.

But on the oche he is known as “The Needle”.

And he has definitely got the needle with the public for some not following governmental and scientific advice on social distancing.

He added: “I feel it is vitality important for people to follow government guidelines for the safety of themselves and others.

“It’s not there for inconvenience, it is there to protect us all as best we can.”

The crisis already seems a world away from just a couple of weeks ago, when he was edged out 10-9 by Daryl Gurney in a first-round UK Open thriller in Minehead.

Brown added: “It feels much longer than a fortnight ago.

“Things have happened very quickly — and it’s very possible things will  continue to change rapidly.

“I’m happy that I battled back from 5-1 down but gutted to have wired my two darts at tops. I felt it was a good game and  an improvement on some of my previous TV matches.”


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