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February 2007:

Because of print deadlines I am actually writing this before Lakeside 2007 so I will hopefully be telling you lots about another great Championship in my next column.

Mind you, I can mention a certain singer by the name of Engelbert Humperdinck, who came to George Hall a few weeks ago to play me in 'A Leg With Bobby' for the Lakeside coverage.

What a lovely man! He loves his darts and is quite a useful player (probably the best celebrity darts player I have ever come across). But it was being in the company of such a great star that made it all so special. No 'big time' attitude with him or anyone connected with him.

Originally, he was coming to George Hall for an hour or so, but he stayed all day and night and we had a ball together. Plus lots of drinks, lots of chat and lots of darts.

Had to laugh when he said that one of his biggest hits: 'Please Release Me, Let Me Go' could become the anthem of all darts players suffering from dartitis!

But I topped that by saying: 'And what about that other great hit of yours, 'Save The Last Dart For Me'? He wasn't quite tuned into my humour at that point because he corrected me by saying: 'You mean 'Save The Last Waltz For Me?'

He fell about laughing when I said, 'yes I know the song very well, Marie was always asking for the Last Waltz, but we are playing darts and it seems a better title for Lakeside.

Laugh? I thought he'd never stop. Maybe he'll re-record it just for Lakeside??

Englebert, who likes to be called Enge, comes from Leicester and unbelievably is 70 years of age! His real name is Arnold George Dorsey (yet another talented George!) and nowadays his son Scott looks after his business for him (and does a very good job too).

Enge had such a good time at our humble abode (I've only got one mansion, but he's got two: one in LA and the other in Leicester) that he invited me and Marie to one of his shows at Lakeside - where he did sell out business over Xmas.

We had a great night because even after 40 years in the business he can still sing better than most (probably all!) of the youngsters around today.

It was also great to see him come on stage and refer to Lakeside as the 'home of world darts' and to single out me and Marie for a bit (a lot actually) of praise. I think we went red from head to toe, but what a pleasure to be acknowledged by such a legendary figure in show business.

He made his famous John Smith's advert with Peter Kay at Lakeside and Bob Potter, as always, looked after us as only he can.

And to make it all extra-special, Enge invited us backstage afterwards where we met his son, his lovely wife (with whom I had a dance) and his grandchildren.

It was such a memorable night - especially for Marie who sat on Engelbert's knee - that I felt sorry I'd beaten him at darts! But then again, he beat me at singing! (Not hard to do).


It's been quite a time for invites, because I was delighted to be invited by MC Phil Jones to go and see him MC his last darts tournament at the Circus Tavern on New Year's Day - something which I accepted in good faith.

Phil was my very first MC in 1979 and we've always remained good friends over the years without any silly politics getting in the way, but unfortunately they almost spoiled his grand finale.

Certain people seemed to be upset over an interview with me in The Independent in which I stated my own views and opinions on the BDO and PDC. I have been in this game long enough to know my own mind and like to think that I talk in fact not fiction.

Only last month none other than Pro Life actually stated: 'Life is about opinions'. It certainly is until someone other than him dares to state their own opinions! If you give it out then be prepared to take it like a man.

There was no animosity from the PDC players. They were all (well, nearly all!) happy for me to be there - including Phil Taylor (who was very supportive) Keith Deller and Ray Barneveld.

They had no problems with me being there, but the hierarchy (that's a big word for me) thought differently and wanted to ban me from the venue. I am talking about the Tom and Tim's of darts, plus a few Dick's as well!

What they probably didn't know is that Peter Rou, manager of the Circus Tavern and Arron Stone, the proprietor, are good mates of mine and Peter fishes at George Hall.

Everyone that knows me will know that I was there to say farewell to a good mate and a great darts MC. It's such a shame that a few people tried to sabotage it. And unfortunately, it was also predicable that Hissing Sid Waddell used the occasion to slag me off!

Thank goodness that the players and Phil Jones have a little (sorry, a lot) more class than the others I have mentioned.


Anyway, it was a memorable final on which to end Phil's successful career. He's a nice man who will be greatly missed and I had to smile when he said: 'Bob, if it wasn't for you getting me started all those years ago, I wouldn't be here with you to say goodbye tonight'.


Yet another invite saw me welcoming an unusual and unique 'celebrity' to George Hall: The FA Cup!

The trophy is so valuable that it is insured for £10.5 million (almost as much as my throwing arm!).

Unlike Engelbert, this celebrity came with security guards who didn't let the famous trophy out of their sight for a second. Apparently, only a privileged few ever get to hold the cup in private, and I am delighted to have joined that elite club.

The reason for the occasion was that this year Lakeside started on the very day that the big clubs entered the road to the FA Cup Final and, way back in 1980 I was playing in the Grand Finals of The News Of The World Championship wearing a West Ham coloured shirt. On that same day West Ham won the FA Cup!

To mark the occasion I got to hold the FA Cup once again wearing the West Ham shirt. I hope it brings them some much needed luck in a season that has been pretty poor up to now.


Must tell you about a new dartboard light that I 'discovered' on my recent trip to Italy. The firm that makes it actually sent me one to try out and I have to say that it is nothing short of brilliant!

The dartboard actually clips onto it and the light is horse-shoe shaped and fits the bottom of the board. It is difficult to describe, but you can move the light around so that eventually there is not a shadow on the board.

I will be getting some sent over and fit them to my new R & H dartboards for the New Year. The perfect light for the perfect board!


Pleased to say that the book - BOBBY DAZZLER - is selling well and I am getting lots of great comments. I made sure that Engelbert got a personally signed copy, and because he's such a gentleman he gave me a signed copy of his autobiography. It's grand to be an author!

Which brings me nicely to the end of yet another column. Did I mention that my New Year Resolution is to ignore Pro Life and his negative attitude towards our sport? From what I have seen and heard already this year, I have a strong feeling that all the players on both sides will readily agree with me!

Be happy and keep smiling and May The Darts Be With You!




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