This is my favourite month of the year (every year) because as my regular readers will know, me and Marie met on the 14th – Valentine’s Day, But this year I might be too tired to celebrate after another hectic Lakeside World Pro.
Congratulations to Wolfie and may the howling be with you!
Just one thing though: Please get a different shirt for next year.....three World Pro titles and three World Masters titles, but same shirt!
Congratulations also to Adrian Lewis on becoming the PDC’s very first home grown World Champion. At long last he has won the ‘Jackpot’ with over 200,000 Grand in his back pocket.
Congratulations as well to Trina Gulliver on being crowned Women’s Pro Champion for the 9th time, and for holding the incredible record of having played in all eleven women’s finals at Lakeside.
Colin Murray did me up like a kipper by nicking my successful tips and leaving me with no choice and no money either!
I do have a certain talent because last year I tipped Dave Chisnall to win the title and the John Smith’s player I mentored, Mark Petchey to win John Smith’s People’s Darts. This year my predictions were for Dean Winstanley to win the Lakeside title and Johnny Haynes to win John Smith’s.
All four came in as runners-up! So I was one out every time, but it’s still hard to do!
By the way, wasn’t it moving to see Sapper Ryan Seary come on to receive a cheque for £20,000 for ‘Help The Heroes’ all raised by darts players. In June last year he lost his left arm and left leg in an explosion in Afghanistan and insisted on going on stage without a wheelchair or crutches.
He did the same walk-on as the player s and got a 5 minute standing ovation. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
Some of the outfits me and Colin Murray got into this year were fantastic. We dressed up as Vampires for Ted Hankey’s opening game and then he came out and played like a Count! (sorry I can’t spell very good).
Then we had to parade in Scotty Mitchell shirts and they squeezed me into a small one. We were doormen for the opening to the final and I got buried in coat while Mr.Murray stood there smiling! . The only thing I didn’t dress up as was as a player, but lots of others did!
Oh, I almost forgot, I ended up in bed with Colin Murray (for the TV cameras you understand!) . It was a double that turned into a treble because we had the Lakeside trophy between us!
Three in a bed? Where have I heard that before??
There were lots of funny moments at Lakeside, like John Boy Walton dropping his iPhone into the lake while having a fag!
He has his phone in a case on his belt and it caught in the railings and vanished into the water! Panic stations!
Poor old John ran into the hotel shouting ‘emergency’ and got a long-handled brush to try and fish it out while Alan Norris shone his own phone on the water (how he regrets not taking a picture)........but Johnboy couldn’t reach it and went off again in another panic.
He then frightened the life out of everyone by running through the hotel in just his vest and boxer shorts and jumped into the lake (feet first) to get his phone! Alan Norris was still so shocked that he didn’t take a picture on his phone – what a laugh that would have been!
I know Yorkshiremen are tight, but I wouldn’t jump into a freezing lake to get my phone! Mind you it is only a Pay-as-you-Go!
But, Johnboy did have the last laugh because, believe it or not, after being underwater for half-an-hour his iPhone still worked!
Mind you, his first call was from a Carp and his ringtone is now the sound of gurgling water!
I did laugh, because it reminded me of the time Les Wallace went to the toilet and dropped his phone down the loo. His certainly didn’t work afterwards because Les took drastic action.
‘Don’t worry Bob, I got on the case’ he told me. ‘I asked the barman to put it in the microwave to dry out!’
All he had left was a lump of plastic and metal!
You couldn’t make it up!
Another bad-luck story was Stuart Kellett’s car breaking down on his way home from his very first Lakeside. It took a bit of the shine away from his Second Round prize money ‘cos it cost him £300 to be towed home.
Remember to join the AA next year Stuart!
Lakeside runner-up Dean Winstanley was upset for another reason after he turned up for the Champions Dinner on the final Sunday only to find that he didn’t have a table!
He was so miffed t hat he was on his way to Pizza Hut when the oversight was sorted out and he ended up making a lovely speech and enjoying a great night of Bob Potter grub and hospitality with the rest of us. Pizza jolly good fellow!
Chris Sargeant took some great photo’s to prove that he’s the No.1 photographer in our sport. He’s also one of the nicest and most generous people you are ever likely to meet, He even manages to make me look younger, so instead of saying he’s the Dog’s Bollox, I call him Bobby’s Botox!
What about the topless pic of me and Rob Walker....it’s a sort of before, after and before shot! Keep your clothes on Rob!
Then there’s the Four Just Men (or should that be Just Four Men?) captured by Chris: Little Richard Ashdown, the human darts computer), the always smiling Colin Murray, me and David ‘Crofty’ Croft).
Which brings us to a snappy end (get it) for another month. Be happy, keep smiling and buy you better half some flowers and chocolates for Valentine’s Day. It’s no more than our ladies deserve (Marie wrote that last bit!).