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March 2007:
T
HAT'S THE WAY TO DO IT! By BOBBY GEORGE


This month it’s a case of the Good, The Bad and the Book!

First, the Good:

Loads of academies of excellence for darts are shooting up all over the place. We all know about the one in Hull that started the ball rolling for youngsters who want to learn about darts and play it.

Now I’ve been told about yet another great initiative for youngsters by Clive Downton, one of the many hard-working journalists who are in the Lakeside Press Office every year.

Clive looks a bit like Billy Mitchell in Eastenders and loves his darts so much that he always plays in the annual Pro-Am at Lakeside. He told me about a Youth Darts Academy run my members of the Andover Invitation League. It is so popular that it is currently attracting something like 40 enthusiastic youngsters a week!

What pleases me more than anything else is that the initiative is not only sponsored by darts giant Unicorn, but also backed by the local Council and Hampshire Police, and supported by a major Housing Association in the area.

The youngsters meet at Andover’s ‘Entertainer’ pub for coaching and guidance and already they have shown great improvement in numeracy since taking up the game seriously.

And here’s another good bit: The pub provides a large bar area free of charge once a week, and smoking, alcohol and swearing are all banned – even to any accompanying adults!

THAT’S THE WAY TO DO IT!

The proud youngsters from 10 to 18 (soon to be extended to 21) all wear shirts provided by Unicorn and carrying the logos of Hampshire Police, Test Valley Borough Council and ‘Testway 7’s’ which is the sports initiative set up by Testway Housing Association.

Nice to know that it is also being supported by the top players, because Colin Monk, who was at Lakeside with his lovely lady Kirsty, is the Academy President.

This is the sort of thing that is going on in Holland all the time and is helping to introduce so many talented youngsters to our game. As I have said time and time again, the kids are the future of our sport and we must encourage them with initiatives like this.

THAT’S THE WAY TO YOUTH IT!

So much for the Good, now for the Bad!

And that can only mean one thing: Pro Life! Just one question: Does this nameless writer really know the difference between truth and fact? The answer is NO!

He actually said last month that when I went to the final at Purfleet as a guest of Phil Jones, I was ‘welcomed’ and given ‘sincere and warm’ treatment.

That might have been true from a players point of view, but I certainly received no welcome from him or the PDC’s top brass – with the exception of Barry Hearn, who did welcome me once I was allowed into the players bar!

Here’s a real fact: Not only was I told by Phil Jones that Tim Darby, the PDC’s Chief Executive, had asked him to tell me not to go to Purfleet, but Mr.Darby was actually at the bottom of the stairs leading to the players room, making sure that the security bloke did what he was told – and that was NOT to let me in!!

To be honest, I’ve never met the man and haven’t a clue what he looks like. I thought he was one of the cleaners!

How do I know all this? Because I was there and I saw it for myself. It was embarrassing, and had it not been for the players – notably Phil Taylor – I would never have got in to say my goodbyes to Phil Jones as he ended a great career.

As I said in last month’s column, it was the players who welcomed me, not the PDC hierarchy, and that’s probably because the players are sick to the teeth of people like Tim Darby.

Let’s get one thing straight once and for all: It’s not the players who cause the aggro but the people behind them.

Pro Life should acknowledge that players like Colin Monk and Andy Jenkins were both given really warm welcomes at Lakeside, as was the gravelly-voiced PDC caller Russ Bray.

Phil Taylor had planned to come but his wife Yvonne was hit by the flu bug. He too would have been welcomed just as he has been in the past.

Pro Life is probably the most miserable individual in darts and if it were not for what he writes in Darts World every month we might all stand a chance of getting on with each other and promoting this great sport of ours.

It doesn’t matter how far you turn back the clock, it has always been the case that players have been ‘used’ for the benefit of Pro Life and those like him. How can he be believed when he hasn’t even got the bottle to say who he is?

THAT’S THE WAY TO BOTTLE IT!

Moving on the my book ‘Bobby Dazzler’ I have been well and truly gobsmacked by the fantastic reaction to it, as well as the amazing sales.

During Lakeside week and beyond, it actually stood proudly at the very top of the sports biography book charts!

Not bad for a humble Darts World columnist!!

My thanks to Patrick Chaplin – the newly graduated Professor of Darts - for an excellent review in last month’s Darts World, and my apologies for beating him in ‘A Leg With Bobby’ during Lakeside.

If I had known he was going to be so kind I might have let him win! (I did say MIGHT!!).

There is also a funny and perceptive review by Dartoid (Paul Siegel) on the internet www.dartoidsworld.com

His review is titled ‘That’s The Way To Write It!’ and I was touched when he said that the poem on the last page made him cry, because it’s always had that effect on me.

My old dad was as tough as old boots, but he did what he had to do and it shaped my life. His poem ’My Son Bob’ might not be the sort of poetry that the purists and luvvies pretend to like, but the words of Francis J.George (the old man) written 30 years ago, are from the heart.

Despite all the nice things he said, Patrick Chaplin assumed that I ‘disliked’ my dad. That is not true. Yes, he was hard and tough, but I never disliked him. I respected him and knew that he loved me through that one poem. That’s why it ends my book.

THAT’S THE WAY TO VERSE IT!

My thanks also to all the players who have taken the trouble to contact me personally. That includes John Lowe who sent an email saying some nice things about the book.


THAT’S THE WAY TO PLAYER IT!

I hope one or two of you saw me do a TV interview called ‘Extratime’ for BBC World and BBC News 24 recently. It was with a lovely bloke named Adam Parsons and it went all over the world.

Blimey, talk about Bobby George Worldwise - my first phone call complimenting me on it came from a viewer in Helsinki!

Mind you, I’m still blushing after being introduced as ‘the most popular player darts has ever known’ and the ‘first ever darts millionaire!’ At one stage young Adam described me as ‘the David Beckham of darts’ but I had to tell him that I wasn’t that good looking!

I was talking for over 20 minutes and we covered everything from the need in this country to get away from the pub culture in darts to how I got into the game and learnt how to count (some would say I’ still learning!).

Importantly, I said that darts was great for getting the kids off the streets and learning them numeracy through playing darts. But more than that, I pointed out that darts also learns them good manners, sportsmanship and how to socialise. It all comes back to the youth academies I started this column with. They are vital to the growth of our sport – as is the BDO’s excellent youth system through the BICC.

We talked about everything in darts and he finished by asking me what my ambitions were and I had no hesitation in telling them that I only have one left – to win the World Pro!

I told him that I’ve done all my rainbow chasing and have now got my own rainbow and everything I need (and want) in life. After all, you can only walk on one carpet, drive one car and wear one suit at a time!

But, that ambition to win the World Pro stays as strong as ever. I’ve been World Champion twice through the News-of-the-World Championships, but having been runner-up twice in the BDO World Pro I still feel it is my destiny to win it and become the ‘oldest slinger’ in world darts.

Cheeky Adam asked me if I would bet on it! I just smiled and told him that I never gamble. I don’t like losing!

THAT’S THE WAY TO GAMBLE IT!

I’ve seen the light and, exclusively for my readers I’m going to show it to you!

Last month I mentioned that on my recent visit to Italy I was show a light that could and should revolutionise the lighting on dartboards. The picture on this page shows the horse-shoe shaped light attached to the board.

I have one at home and can confirm that once it is adjusted properly there isn’t a single shadow on the board – it gives what every darts player dreams of: Perfect light.

The contact for these lights is Noel Britton. Take a butchers at the website on: shop@top180.com

The lights aren’t cheap, but then again perfection never comes cheap…..ask Marie!

THAT’S THE WAY TO LIGHT IT!

Finally, another reminder about the upcoming ‘friendly’ between England and Holland at Lakeside over Easter Weekend – April 6th and 7th.

Forget about the Easter Eggs and come down to Lakeside for some proper World-Class darts on the original World Pro stage, which is being dusted down and hovered specially for that weekend.

I’m also being dusted down myself, because I’ll be there to play ‘A Leg With Bobby’ every session with a man and a woman – not the same ones, but different ones every session!

If you think you can get on that famous stage and beat me, then make sure you are there on April 6th & 7th. Your country needs you!

THAT’S THE WAY TO DO IT!
Hasta la vista for yet another month. May The Darts Be With You!

 

 

 

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