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June 2007:

Here’s a cheeky question to get June underway: ‘What raises yours’? Well, I know what works for me (ask Marie), but this question is actually the title of a campaign highlighting the dangers of high blood pressure, and I have been asked to help.

It’s a new health campaign targeting men between the ages of 35 and 60 (they obviously think I am in that age bracket) and the overall aim is to raise awareness of the danger of high blood pressure .

There is always a serious side to health campaigns, but this one has a cheekier approach to the highs and lows of blood pressure and, because of that, I think it will have more impact.

The whole thing is being funded by Guy’s and St.Thomas’ Charity and is focusing on three key areas in men of a certain age: kidney disease, sexual health and strokes.

You don’t have to be a doctor to know that all of these are affected by high blood pressure. An important part of the campaign is to encourage men (and women) to have their blood pressure checked regularly.

It reminds me of a darts event last year when blood pressure levels were checked before and after playing. There was one overseas player whose blood pressure was so high that the medical people advised him to get to hospital as soon as possible!

The lowest blood pressure reading belonged to a certain gentleman by the name of Olly Croft! No surprise there. He’s always been one of the calmest men I have ever come across. He’s so laid back that he often nods off!!

Mind you, that comes with being confident in your own abilities and what you are doing (a bit like me really!).

The people running the campaign were looking for a sporting celebrity to reflect the ‘lighter’ side of the issue, so and they chose me! To be honest, I have always looked after my health and was more than pleased when a simple blood pressure test showed that I have a reading (134 over 69) and a heart-rate that any 18 year-old would be proud of!

Appropriately, I helped launch the campaign the day before St.George’s Day and I’ve already done a couple of personal appearances.

Importantly, in my new role as ‘Dr.George’ I would recommend that all darts players get regular blood pressure tests. They only take a couple of minutes (you can even buy your own kit from Boots) but could ultimately help save your life.


Among the many reasons for high blood pressure is reading the ramblings of Pro Life! Goodness knows what our anonymous correspondent was writing about last month, but like most others that I spoke to, I gave up after the first couple of lines.

It wasn’t clever and it certainly wasn’t funny! But I appreciated the plugs for my book. Thank you very much!


Going back to St.George’s Day, I had a lovely time celebrating it at the Crown Hotel in Colne, Lancashire. Three lovely geezers: Noel Buckley, Peter Speak and Steve Edgington put on the special night which raised £625 in aid of the handicapped.

St.George would have been proud!


Really enjoyed the first England v Holland ‘friendly’ at Lakeside – especially as the England players came out on top 26-16 over a wonderful Easter Weekend of darts at ‘the home of world darts’.

There were plenty of supporters there, and the new EDO officials did exceptionally well in organising and presenting such a very enjoyable weekend of top-class darts.

Must make a special mention of the youth players, who all showed that darts has a bright future if talent is allowed to grow in a proper system.

My boy Richie did me (and England) proud when he beat the reigning Winmau Boys Master, Maarten Pape 3-1.

Must say that I felt good in my brilliant white ‘executive’ EDO jacket, and doing the ‘Leg With Bobby’ was not only good fun, but also raised some much needed funds for the new EDO.

The Leg With Bobby raised an amazing £1,380, and the auction afterwards raised a further £180 for the dartboard and another £115 for a Co Stompe shirt. Not bad considering you need to be Size Zero for a Stompe shirt!

Believe me, there weren’t too many (any) Size Zero individuals at Lakeside that weekend!

Also on the plus side ‘Little Richard’ Ashdown did a fantastic job as both MC and referee. There aren’t too many officials who can sing like he can (eat your heart out Ray Stubbs!).

And we also ‘discovered’ a brilliant caller in Bedfordshire’s Rob Clarke. You could shut your eyes and swear you were listening to Georgie Noble, because Rob has a crystal-clear voice that belongs on the big stage.

On behalf of the EDO, I would like to thank Bob Potter and his lovely staff for their wonderful hospitality. As much as I like the new Lakeside stage set, it was magic to play on the original ‘Embassy’ stage set for all those who took part.

Thanks also to Jacques ‘You Throw’ Nieuwlatt (older readers will remember Jacques Cousteau?) the first ever overseas referee to officiate at a friendly international, and the Dutch players who came over to make the weekend such a marvellous success.

Special award for the ‘best speech’ of the weekend goes to me at the start of the friendly when I said:

‘This is the beginning of the end of the first ever EDO event’.

Is that Double Dutch or what!


Enjoyed a brilliant night in Belper recently, when a total of £2,500 was raised for Leigh Wilkinson. This is going to a fund to help look after his special needs in the future.

It was good to meet UP WITH Dave (Robbo) Robinson AGAIN, who has asked me to pass on grateful thanks to Roly. (see photo of Robbo, Leigh and ‘yours truly’).


Nice to hear from Alan Currivan of Walton Youth Darts on yet more success for the youngsters in our sport. I think everyone knows how I feel about Youth Darts – especially as I firmly believe that one day a talented darts player will have the opportunity to win an Olympic Gold Medal.

On that subject, I think we should all congratulate the World Darts Federation on going all the way to Beijing in China and succeeding in getting the WDF recognised as the worldwide governing body for darts.

This means that players in the 64 countries that make up the WDF are now that much closer to helping our sport gain Olympic recognition.

It is no longer just a pipe dream thanks to the efforts of the WDF and BDO. Well done to everyone concerned on a job very well done.

Back to Walton Youth Darts and the very first Youth Open Championships. Alan tells me that there were 42 entries in the boys competition and 19 in the girls - and most important of all, everyone had a great day.

Andover Youth Academy, who I have mentioned in a previous column, took a coachload of players and supporters. Rab Scott presented the trophies and a nice little touch was that all the players who lost their first game were given a second chance in a competition called ‘The Plate’.

This was a mixed boys and girls event which ensured that all the youngsters could enjoy more than one game.

Alan Currivan and his colleagues also managed to get some great prizes donated for the kids. I wish I had space to name all the winners, but here are the main ones:

Boys winner: Daniel Cooper (Cambridgeshire) won a family holiday at the Orchards Holiday Village (donated by Haven); a personalised short valued at £50, a years subscription to Darts World (he can now read me every week) and a trophy.

Girls winner: Charlotte Burgess (Hampshire) won another family holiday at The Orchards, plus a dartboard and set of darts and a year long subscription to Darts World and a trophy.

The Plate winner was Stewart Thorogood (Essex) who will also be enjoying a family holiday courtesy of Haven Holidays.

These are all brilliant initiatives for our young players and I have no hesitation in giving them my whole-hearted support.


It’s also a good way to end yet another column and serves as a reminder that darts is not just for a chosen few. It is a sport of the people, for the people. Long may it remain so.

May the darts be with you all.




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