a great weekend we had at Lakeside with the EDO’s
England v Europe friendly a few weeks ago.
I know England won it easily enough, but that’s
not the point I am making. It was a great weekend
of darts, and lots and lots of fun for the players
and public alike.
my opinion it was better than the England v Netherlands
friendly of 2007 – and that was very good as
well. I am not surprised that the EDO have already
asked Bob Potter to reserve some dates for another
weekend in 2009.
makes these get-togethers so enjoyable, is the crack
between the players – and everyone knows that
I am very partial to a bit of crack in my life and
Co Stompe was unable to get to Lakeside, the Europe
team was a man short and, with my Scottish heritage
(I’m half Scottish) the England and Europe selectors
decided I could play as part of the Europe team (let’s
face it, we are all Europeans nowadays!).
Originally I was drawn to play Andy Fordham, but he
had to withdraw and I played Tommy Aldridge. Everyone
nicknamed me ‘Bobby Mac Van George’!
To be honest it was a real giggle and I ended up being
‘banned’ by Europe for ‘match-fixing’,
and then England decided to ‘ban’ me for
playing in the Europe side!
Blimey, I didn’t know whether I was coming or
going as an English, Scottish ‘adopted’
Dutchman, but surely having a laugh is what a ‘friendly’
match is all about? Just as well with me around!
THE WAY TO BAN IT!
also played eight ‘Legs With Bobby’ and
hopefully raised a few bob (get it?) on the way.
was also good to see lots of darts fans at Lakeside
and I can honestly say that it was one of the best
weekends I’ve had in a long time. Just shows
what a boring life I lead!! (Only joking).
done to the EDO, and thanks to the European team,
all the officials and everyone at Lakeside for making
THE WAY TO EDO IT!
Richard Ashdown, who everyone knows as ‘Little
Richard’ is an absolute genius when it comes
to numbers, and as well as working with me on ‘proper’
darts events like the EDO tournaments and the World
Pro, he is often with me on my fun exhibition nights
– and adds to the humour of the evening considerably!
I always tell the audiences a funny story about how
I met him, so I would like to share it with my Darts
happened in 2002 when I was on a trip to Ireland.
I got lost and suddenly came across a Leprechaun at
the end of a rainbow.
almost knocked the little fellow over (the Leprechaun
not Richard!) and as a reward for not harming him
he told me that I could have a pot of gold. “Well,
that’s very kind of you’ I said, ‘but
as you can see, I already have enough bling for several
first he looked a little downhearted, but then his
face lit up and he offered to grant me any wish I
I told him, ‘what I really want is a four foot
Dick with a good head’. And that, dear readers
is how I ended up with Little Richard Ashdown!
a proper four-foot ‘Dick’ with the best
head for numbers that I have ever come across!
THE WAY TO DICK IT!
as a ‘first’ ever for this column, I have
invited Richard to be my ‘guest writer’
(I’ll have to call him ‘Scoop Ashdown’
from now on!) and he has written the following report
on my recent night at Premier League Reading Football
Club with Phil Taylor for the first ever Royal Families
Charities darts night:
his ‘exclusive’ report on a great night
of darts and fundraising:
out in front of over 400 fans and guests, it all started
off with the big walk-ons of Bobby, complete with
cloak and candelabra, and Phil's traditional "Power"
there were a series of pairs matches involving Reading
FC stars like Nicky Shorey, Bryn Gunnarsson, John
Oster, Stephen Hunt, Kevin Doyle, Ivar Ingarmarsson
and Dave Kitson.
and Bobby were in fine form early on, hitting the
big shots, and both really got into the spirit of
the exhibition. With Bobby, I'm used to that of course,
but I was very impressed with how much fun Phil was
head to head matches were staged. First up was Phil
against Reading’s best darts player, John "The
Hammer" Oster. I must say, John is a great lad.
You expect a lot of ego from footballers, but it wasn't
the case with him, or any of the other Reading players
for that matter.
it was best of 3 legs 501. Game on!
stepped up and hit 180, 180 and then just missed the
next treble. He took the leg in 12 darts (Port Vale
1 Reading 0!).
leg, Phil hit 180, 180 again, and ended up leaving
84 after 9 darts. At this point, I thought it only
fair to swop scores, and what does John do? Two darts:
Treble 20, double 12!
Into a decider, Phil started with yet another 180
(5 consecutive scoring attempts and 5 x 180's!). I
have never seen anything like it! Phil again had some
fun with John at the end of the leg, and John eventually
hit double 6 to claim a famous (if unlikely) victory.
to the climax of the evening and a clash of two eras
as Bobby, a champion from the seventies and eighties,
took on Phil, the champion of the nineties and naughties!
assured the audience that this would NOT be a whitewash...
Phil would win at least one leg! How wrong could I
Bobby had a seldom-seen ‘business’ look
in his eyes, and was determined not to be shown up
by ‘The Power’ on such imperious form.
This was the first time they had ever played each
other and what a match it proved to be!
hit a 180 in the opening leg and finished on D4 for
a 13 darter, with Phil waiting on a double.
the 2nd leg, against the throw, Bobby hit another
180 and was on 93 after 9 darts... 25 and 18 left
bull for the second leg in 12 darts!
crowd were now well into this special game and played
their part, with more cheering and singing than at
a Premier League night (but come to think of it, it
was a Premier League night out at a Premier League
football ground – the magnificent Madejski Stadium
The third leg saw Bobby in control. He left 135 and
hit Bull, T15 and just pulled his last dart to miss
tops. Phil was on 80 and hit T20 with his first dart
and then missed the next two at D10! Bobby to stepped
in to hit the same double with one dart to complete
a fantastic 3-0 victory.
an end to one of the best nights I've ever worked
on. Great fun with the footballers, sublime scoring
from Phil, and Bobby showing there's life in the old
top of all that, Phil and Bobby helped raise over
£6,000 for charity! Everyone was a winner on
a great night.
THE WAY TO RICHARD IT!
Now it’s back to me with the sensible stuff!
I must tell you that the Royal Families is a fundraising
group set up by the wives and girlfriends of the Reading
FC players, which just goes to prove that everything
the media try to tell us about WAGs is not necessarily
The money raised on the darts night has taken the
total raised so far this year to just over £80,000,
and the two main charities benefiting are Daisy's
Dream, for children suffering bereavement, and Berkshire
THAT’S THE WAY TO ROYAL
Must close by going back to my game with Phil. I had
gone up to the oche with a big white hankey in my
pocket, because he was playing so well that I thought
I might have to wave it in ‘surrender’.
I also took one of my ‘Man Of The Match’
awards, which I did present to him at the end of the
night…….after all, he’s got his
name on practically every trophy in darts, so it’s
only fair that he’s now got something with my
name on it!
On that night at Reading FC he showed that not only
is he a great player, but he’s also a great
THAT’S THE WAY TO POWER
So I will now turn off the power (again) and say Keep
On Smiling and Be Lucky because summer is here (allegedly!)