a busy old time on the International scene at the
moment. We’ve just had the Six Nations Cup in
Wales, coming up in April are the BDO British Internationals
in Scotland – and in between the England Darts
Organisation are back at Lakeside for England v Europe
later this month (March 22nd & 23rd).
love going back to Lakeside at any time, but with
the World Pro still fresh in all our memories it’s
going to be great to see so many familiar faces back
at the home of world darts.
is also nice to see that its not just for the men
and women, but also includes some talented youngsters
from England and Europe. I am a firm believer in doing
as much as we can for the kids…..after all,
they are the future of our sport. Thankfully, like
the BDO, the EDO is looking after that future by making
events like England v Europe inclusive for the boys
the Europe team is captained by a Turkey player –
Emre Torres, and the line-up includes popular Dutchman
Co Stompe, Finland’s Jarkko Komula, Northern
Ireland’s Davy Glenn and one of the top German
players, Andreas Krockel.
for England, they are led by Martin Adams and the
side contains many Lakeside favourites, including
Darryl Fitton, John Boy Walton and, wait for it, Andy
Fordham. Yes, Andy is turning out for England, having
delighted the Lakeside crowd at this year’s
final when he came on stage as one of the most popular
World Champions of all time.
making every attempt to get back to full fitness and
that includes playing in as many top events as possible
in 2008. The last 12 months have been memorable to
him for all the wrong reasons, so let’s hope
the next 12 months see him back on the big stage with
THE WAY TO VIKING IT!
the clock back to the Lakeside World Pro, because
of the tight print deadlines, this is really my first
opportunity to write about it.
Everyone knows that I tell it as it is, and I have
to say that from the Quarter-Finals on, the 2008 Championships
more than lived up to the reputations of those from
standard of play was fantastic, with truly outstanding
performances from Darryl Fitton, who dazzled the crowd
in every match he played; the incredible Scot Robert
Thornton, who proved that his World Masters victory
last November was no one-off; the pony-tailed Simon
Whitlock; the emergence of Brian Pecker Woods on the
very biggest stage of them all……and, of
course a young man by the name of Mark Webster.
he started as No.1 Seed and more than lived up to
it, but many thought he might slip up against some
of the more experienced ‘big boys’. But
he more than held his own and his matches against
Darryl Fitton, Martin Adams and Simon Whitlock proved
that at the young age of 24 he is going to be a great
and modest World Champion.
produced a performance in the final that was breathtaking,
gutsy and above all exciting for the packed Lakeside
audience, and more than 4 million BBC-2 viewers on
a cold and wet Sunday night in January.
he did great (and he did) for Wales, then Russia’s
Anastasia Dobromyslova (just 23) well and truly lifted
the Iron Curtain with her sensational win over Trina
it wasn’t a ‘cold war’ on the Lakeside
stage, because Anastasia lit up women’s darts
with her cheeky grins, bouncy style and devastating
ended Trina’s incredible 7 year unbeaten Lakeside
record and, like the sportswoman she is, England’s
‘Golden Girl’ showed great composure and
dignity in defeat.
course, she hated giving up a trophy that has been
on her sideboard since 2001, but she knows that Anastasia
is a breath of fresh air for the women’s game,
and that she will be back in 2009 to battle it out
all over again.
THE WAY TO DO IT!
is full of coincidences, and two young men made their
‘Marks’ at Lakeside and then won major
Webster is the 2008 World Pro Champion, and I had
the great pleasure of meeting snooker’s Mark
Selby during Lakeside week. He actually came down
to play ‘A Leg With Bobby’ and turned
up in a darts shirt bearing the legend: ‘The
a lovely young man he is and a useful darts player
at that! Mind you, snooker is his No.1 game and no
one was more delighted than me when he won the BBC
televised SAGA Masters just a week after Lakeside.
Mark Webster he is just 24 and has the world at his
feet, and it was great to see ‘A Leg With Bobby’
shown as a link from Lakeside to the SAGA Masters.
THE WAY TO SNOOKER IT!
on the subject of coincidences, I have been having
loads of fun with the ‘Darts Legends’
nights – especially having plenty of crack with
players like Keith Deller.
most of my readers know, I am fascinated by numbers
so how about this for a coincidence (with a little
help from Richard Ashdown).
Keith won the World Championship with his famous 138
checkout in 1983 he became the sixth World Champion.
‘So what’s so special about that?’
I can hear you asking.
young Keith was just 23 when he won the title, and
if you multiply his age by the fact that he was the
6th World Champion:
6 x 23, the answer is 138 – which is the checkout
with which he beat Eric Bristow on that memorable
night at Jollees, Stoke-on-Trent.
this a coincidence or fate? More from Bobby’s
Wonderful World of Numbers in future columns!
THE WAY TO ADD IT!
you may have heard and read, Setanta Sports are more
than a little interested in broadcasting future Legends
events. This is great news for everyone who enjoys
seeing ‘old timers’ like myself, Keith,
Eric, Cliff and others back on the oche, but I think
it might have upset one or two others with interests
elsewhere. We were even insulted by one person who
rarely puts his brain in gear before opening his mouth.
He sais that instead of 180 boards in the crowd, we
should have 60 boards! What a cheek! We’re going
to have 69 boards instead, because us old un’s
can still score!
THE WAY TO LEGENDS IT!
now a Daily Mail reader because the full page article
which Sports Editor Lee Clayton wrote after his visit
to George Hall, was used to launch Lakeside 2008.
I loved it, and out of the blue the Mail sent it to
me in a lovely frame. It now occupies pride of place
in my bar.
things are happening all the time……For
instance, I have been consulted by an author who is
writing a book on maths. Obviously my knowledge of
numbers is becoming well known outside darts, which
is nice. Either that or people enjoy picking what’s
left of my brains!
am also in discussions re the possibility of hosting
a new DVD on the history of darts – focusing
on the wonderful 30 years of the World Pro.
is early days yet, but there are plans to include
every single final, loads of memorable BBC footage
from 1978 to the present day, plus interviews and
yes. Another posh paper. This time ‘The Observer’
is coming down to photograph me cooking a Chinese
in my kitchen. It makes a change from darts!
THE WAY TO DVD IT!
of you have asked me to repeat some of the ‘Georgisms’
that Ray Stubbs and I did during Lakeside. The very
funny feature in which we struggled to keep straight
faces, is actually on internet website ‘You
Tube’ and has had thousands of hits. The link
is a bit of a mouthful, but it’s worth taking
a butcher’s: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsWHuawDwbY
those who missed them, here goes. I say: ‘He
wants the A40 but has gone up the A1’. Ray says:
‘What Robert actually means is that the player
has made a severe mathematical error in his calculations
and has gone up the A1 when he really wanted the A40.
say: ‘He’s got too much trap before he’s
got the biz’. Ray says: Robert means that the
player is making rash and inappropriate utterances
before he’s actually achieved anything’.
say: ‘He wants his mummy’. Ray says: ‘Robert
is saying that the player has reached crisis point
and has serious psychological problems that probably
require maternal guidance’.
say: ‘HELLLLLLO’ and Ray says: ‘This
is more than a greeting from Robert. It means he is
impressed by someone and is often reserved for the
ladies, but not exclusively so’.
finally, I say: ‘He’s very military SPASMOTIC
AND HE thinks he’s INTERLECTRICAL’. To
which Ray replies: ‘I have no idea what Robert
great fun we had doing that in such a serious way
when all we wanted to do was laugh! Priceless Raymond.
You are the bees knees……which doesn’t
need interpreting. It means that you are the best!
THE WAY TO GEORGEISM IT!
close by telling you about a great evening I had at
Colchester Garrison Officers Club. It was ‘Captains
Night’ organised by golf club captain, Simon
Howcroft. It was in aid of Parkinson’s Disease
and the RH Dartboard I donated fetched the best price
of the night….a magnificent £175.
Simon asked me if I fancied a game of golf. When I
told him that I had never played but had once had
a couple of lessons, he put a ball down, gave me a
club and said: Hit that to the flag over there.
I gave it a whack and when we walked to the green,
it was 2 inches from the hole! ‘What do I do
now?’ I asked. He said: ‘You have to knock
it into the hole’. I looked at him with my very
best Georgeism face and replied: ‘Why didn’t
you tell me that in the first place!’
THE WAY TO GOLF IT!
brings me nicely to the end of yet another column
so remember: Be Happy and Keep Smiling!