After the ‘big’ Royal Wedding of the year – Prince William and Kate - there are two more ‘Royal’ weddings this month:
Zara Phillips, granddaughter of HM The Queen, is marrying England Rugby star Mike Tindall (who came down to Lakeside a couple of years ago with Zara’s brother Peter) and sports ‘Royalty’ Ray Stubbs, The Prince of Presenters, is marrying his long time sweetheart Kay Satterley
Me and Ray were sort of ‘married’ as presenters of the World Pro for many years, but now he’s being made an honest man, and me and Marie are delighted to be among the honoured guests who will witness the deed (the invite from Zara has obviously got lost in the post just like the one from Prince William and Kate!).
After 25 years with the BBC, Ray is now continuing his successful career with ESPN as their main sports front man. Me, Marie and all the George family wish him and Kay every happiness in their future lives together.
If they are anywhere near as happy as me and Marie then they will have no worries (Marie wrote that bit!).
Guess what? You won’t believe this but I went to Wales recently and it wasn’t raining! Honest!!
I know it’s hard to believe, but as I crossed the impressive Severn Bridge not a drop of rain fell and there were blokes walking around in short sleeve shirts and no shirts at all!
Do you know what? The country looked even more beautiful than ever.
I love Wales and the Welsh people because they always make you so welcome. In fact, there is always a welcome in the hillside, but never in the houses! Only joking!!
Anyway, there was certainly a very warm welcome in the club where I was doing my exhibition. The landlady had laid out a huge plate of ham and cheese sandwiches, plus coffee and tea. ‘That’s nice’ ‘I never get that sort of thing normally’. I did wonder how she knew that I like ham and cheese sandwiches and cup of tea with two sugars and stirred from the right!
She looked at me with a puzzled expression (Welsh ladies are good at puzzled expressions) but I just tucked in and thought: ‘Yacky, Da’ this will do for me thank you very much.
Later that night I had a call from the club secretary asking me how I liked the tea and sandwiches....and that’s when he told me that he’d rung up the landlady and pretended to be me!
He was laughing his head off as he switched from Welsh Wales to cockney Essex and said: ‘I told her, this is Bobby George and I can’t come all the way to Wales and do an exhibition without a plate of sandwiches and a pot of tea!
Anyway, when I got back to George Hall after a very enjoyable exhibition, I thought I must ring her up (the landlady that is) and thank her for the hospitality and ask about the brilliant PA system in the pub.
When she answered the phone I said: ‘Bobby George here, Doll. Thanks for a lovely time with you and your customers. It was brilliant and your PA system is the best I have ever used in any exhibition. Can you give me the name of it and where you got it?’
There was a sort of pregnant pause (nothing to do with me!) and she didn’t answer straight away. It was an awkward moment, and then she said all sarcastically (the Welsh can do sarky very well!):
‘Oh, I see, so you’re thinking of opening a club are you? You might think you fooled me last time but not again! If you are Bobby George then I’m Ken Dodd!!’
I couldn’t resist saying: ‘Well you might look like Doddy, but you certainly don’t sound like him, Darling! To be honest this isn’t true, because she was a good looking lady who certainly knew how to look after her men (I’ll do anything – well almost anything – for a plate of ham and cheese sandwiches and a pot of tea).
Fair play to her, though because she did eventually see the funny side and we had a good laugh about it. I have to say that those sandwiches were a bit tasty (just like her). Could she? Would She??
Staying with Wales, I was a guest with Joe Calzaghe - probably the most famous Welsh sportsmen of all-time (with apologies to the late great Leighton Rees) – on the very first ‘Andrew Flintoff World Of Sport’ show on BBC Radio Five Live (see photo of me with Joe and Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff.
Joe holds the record of being Britain’s only undefeated World Champion boxer with the incredible record of 46 fights, 46 wins and 32 KO’s!
I was there on the night he was crowned the very first Welsh winner of BBC Sports Personality of the Year and he’s a smashing bloke – a real knockout person (literally!). Not surprisingly he’s not only been honoured with the CBE but also the MBE from HM The Queen. I told you this was a Royal month!
Freddie Flintoff is another MBE (when will I get mine?) and has an even bigger personality than Joe’s! He’s a Lancashire lad who enjoys a pint or three and has now retired from first-class cricket. Just like Joe was an exciting and good looking boxer (not a broken nose to be seen) Freddie was a great, exciting and good looking England cricketer.
So, at least we all shared something in common. Sport and good looks (well, Marie still thinks I look good. Probably in the dark after a few sherbets!).
Anyway, we had a great time on his show (what an honour to be a guest on the first one) and he loved a slice of my darts lingo which I call ‘two wides and a wicket’.
It’s a line from my new book (with Patrick Chaplin) ‘Scoring For Show, Doubles For Dough’ and means someone throwing three darts for double, with the first two going outside the board (2 wides) and the third hitting double (the wicket).
Staying with sport, I also have a saying for someone who throws for 20 and hits a big 1 instead. It’s usually called ‘The Cuckoo’ because it’s a shot that’s gone on wrong bed (nest), but I’ve now changed it to ‘The Footballer’ for reasons that don’t need any further explanation. Forget Super Injunction, I am talking Super Injection (think about it?).
It’s always nice to finish with some good news and it doesn’t come any better than Clacton Snooker Centre Youth Darts Academy and the hard work of Terry Sweeney (son of the late and legendary Jim Sweeney, an ever-present at Lakeside and all the big BDO events who devoted his life to darts) and his wife Sharon who can talk for England!
Honestly, when I went to present the youngsters with their new playing shirts (see photo) it was a good 15 minutes before I could get a word in! She’s a lovely lady, but blimey can she rabbit! No wonder Terry is so quiet!!
Only joking, Doll! You’ve got a long way to go to catch up my Marie!!!!
Anyway, I am extremely proud to be President of the Youth Darts Academy, because as I’ve said many time before, these youngsters and many more like them around the country, are the future of our sport.
They are a lovely bunch of kids who love playing darts, and their smiles lit up the whole of Clacton when they saw their shirts.
I promised Terry and Sharon that I would give a very big thank-you to all those who raised the money to buy the shirts, including Clacton Snooker Club and its members, the Clacton Men’s Darts League, Buddies hairdressers and Hayes Scaffolding.
But, to be honest, I think it is Terry and Sharon who deserve the biggest thank you for all their enthusiasm in making the Youth Academy such a big success.
I applaud them and the thousands of unsung volunteers who give up all their time and energy for the good of darts.