OXFORDSHIRE county darts player Deta Hedman says she has been made stronger by a racist and abusive message.

The 59-year-old was sent an offensive email after she was beaten in the first round of the BDO World Championship on Sunday.

Hedman was called a ‘f****** ugly n*****’ and told to ‘go kill yourself’ following her shock 2-0 defeat to Maria O’Brien.

The World No 2, who is a three-time finalist at the Lakeside, has reported the message, which is believed to be from Finland, to the police.

Hedman, winner of more than 130 BDO titles and a member of the World Darts Federation (WDF) Players’ Commission, has vowed to carry on playing.

She told BBC Radio 5 Live: “It hasn’t put me off.

“It just makes me stronger to go out there and show them that you can do what you want.

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“The saying is ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me’, so I just carry on and just show you I’m better than you.”

She added: “When I first saw the email I said to my partner, Paul, ‘this is probably some idiot or they’ve had a big bet and they’ve just lost’.

“But obviously my other half said to me ‘well no, we won’t take any more of this.’

“The first line of what he said was ‘go kill yourself’ and you don’t tell anyone to do that.

“Then the rest came in after that, the old tirade of what he called me - no-one should take that.”

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Oxford Mail:

  • Deta Hedman in action during the semi-finals of BDO World Championship in 2012 Picture: PA Wire

Hedman was born in Jamaica, but has lived in Britain since she was 13 and is now based in Witham, Essex.

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The former World No 1 plays for Oxfordshire in the BDO Inter-Counties Championship and was seeded third at the Lakeside this year.

Hedman, who reached last year’s world final, says she has received racial abuse throughout her career.

She added: “It has got better because before normally every tournament I would go to someone would have something nasty to say.

“It was always said behind my back, it was never really in my face.

“Racism has come a long way.

“Now you can really do something about it, but back then you just smiled about it and moved on.”