month it’s a case of the Good, The Bad and the
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.
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
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!
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
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.
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!
THE WAY TO DO IT!
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
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.
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.
THE WAY TO YOUTH IT!
much for the Good, now for the Bad!
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!
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.
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!
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
be honest, I’ve never met the man and haven’t
a clue what he looks like. I thought he was one of
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.
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.
get one thing straight once and for all: It’s
not the players who cause the aggro but the people
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
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.
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
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?
THE WAY TO BOTTLE IT!
on the my book ‘Bobby
Dazzler’ I have been well and truly gobsmacked
by the fantastic reaction to it, as well as the amazing
Lakeside week and beyond, it actually stood proudly
at the very top of the sports biography book charts!
bad for a humble Darts World columnist!!
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.
I had known he was going to be so kind I might have
let him win! (I did say MIGHT!!).
is also a funny and perceptive review by Dartoid (Paul
Siegel) on the internet www.dartoidsworld.com
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.
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.
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.
THE WAY TO VERSE IT!
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
THAT’S THE WAY TO PLAYER
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.
talk about Bobby George Worldwise - my first phone
call complimenting me on it came from a viewer in
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!
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
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.
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!
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!
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.
Adam asked me if I would bet on it! I just smiled
and told him that I never gamble. I don’t like
THE WAY TO GAMBLE IT!
seen the light and, exclusively for my readers I’m
going to show it to you!
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
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.
contact for these lights is Noel Britton. Take a butchers
at the website on: firstname.lastname@example.org
lights aren’t cheap, but then again perfection
never comes cheap…..ask Marie!
THE WAY TO LIGHT IT!
another reminder about the upcoming ‘friendly’
between England and Holland at Lakeside over Easter
Weekend – April 6th and 7th.
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.
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!
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!
THE WAY TO DO IT!
Hasta la vista for yet another month. May The Darts
Be With You!