THE WAY TO DO IT! By BOBBY
to John Smith’s and make mine a pint (or three)!
The Scottish & Newcastle brand leader who have supported
Lakeside (and yours truly!) for many years, are returning
darts to where it belongs – the pubs and clubs that
I have always described as the ‘womb’ of our sport.
the mothers of darts, because that’s where ‘ordinary’
players get their first experience of playing the game and
socialising with other players.
recent years, darts in pubs has had to make way for piped
music, chicken in the basket and gaming machines. All open
plan and no atmosphere.
Smith’s are now sending out branded Winmau dartboards
and darts to an incredible 5,000 outlets all over the country.
nothing short of sensational for our sport, because it is
encouraging grass roots players to start playing on a regular
basis individually and in teams.
all part of a marvellous initiative called John Smith’s
People’s Darts and, for some reason, they have chosen
my ugly mug to promote nationwide pub darts competitions to
find a People’s Champion who will get his or her crown
at Lakeside next January.
be proper ‘No Nonsense’ darts and reminds me of
how I got started all those years ago – especially in
the News-of-the-World Championships: Playing in packed pubs,
best of 3 legs! Never mind the pub being the mother of darts,
that’s when you need your mummy!
THE WAY TO MUMMY IT!
and club competitions are not open to any pop-stars. They
are for the ‘ordinary’ pub players – men
and women – aged 18 or over, and county standard players
and pro players will not be eligible to compete.
is obvious. Just like the hugely successful John Smith’s
People’s Race at the Grand National, People’s
Darts is for the punters who play their darts at pub and club
level – and the £15,000 winners cheque will go
to a nominated charity.
great news, and so is the fact that the eventual People’s
Darts Champion will win £1,000 worth of darts equipment
for his or her local boozer, plus a week for two at the BDO
Torremolinos Open next March and entry into two BDO Opens
I am more than chuffed that the whole project is being backed
by the Daily Mirror and supported by the BDO. The Mirror have
been down to George Hall to spend the day with me, and I’ve
even made a video that will be seen on the Mirror website
in the run-up to Lakeside.
THE WAY TO SUPPORT IT!
who can remember the famous wartime ‘Your Country Needs
You’ poster of Lord Kitchener, my poster is saying ‘Your
Pub Needs You’!
be heading up a team of players who know all about the thrill
of winning at Lakeside – current World Pro Champion
Mark Webster, 2007 World Champion Martin Adams and 2000 and
2001 Champions Ted Hankey and John Boy Walton.
as being at the regional finals, we will also be ‘mentoring’
some of the players as they start out on their magical trip
to Lakeside next January.
there will be 8 regional champions representing Scotland,
North-East England, North-West England, North Wales, Central
England, South Wales, Yorkshire and the South of England.
Semi-Finals and Final will all be played at Lakeside during
World Pro week, with the actual John Smith’s People’s
Darts final being played on the most famous stage in world
darts just before the 2009 Lakeside World Pro final.
It is a
real once in a lifetime opportunity for a pub/club player
to experience the unique atmosphere of Lakeside and win all
those lovely prizes in front of a packed audience and TV cameras.
All 8 of
the regional finalists will be asked to nominate a registered
charity and, in addition to the £15,000 which will be
paid to the winners charity, the runner-up will receive £2,500
and the other 6 finalists will win £1,000 each for their
two of them walk on that stage to play in the first ever John
Smith’s People’s Darts final, they will go from
the ordinary to the extraordinary!
THE WAY TO JOHN SMITH’S IT!
what a surprise that the WDF Europe Cup was won by the host
nation Denmark and a player from Poland won the Denmark Open!
a ‘first’ for both nations and just shows the
ongoing growth of darts. My congratulations to the Danes (I
love your bacon!) on their exciting last leg victory, and
to Polish sensation Krysztof Ratajski (who will next be seen
at the Winmau World Masters) for earning his bacon by becoming
2008 Denmark Open Champion.
it’s a bit worrying that after taking over the plumbing
industry, the Poles are now emerging as a useful darts nation!
to them and darts players everywhere.
THE WAY TO POLE IT!
treat to be able to watch the Europe Cup on the BDO and WDF
websites. England Men got the Silver Medal in Copenhagen in
the closest ever tournament - with only 9 points separating
the top four and Scotland only one point adrift of England
in third spot.
to Martin Adams and John Boy Walton on taking the Men’s
Pairs title. It’s the third time Martin’s done
it – with a different partner each time!
another ‘first’ it was left to the ladies of my
adopted county of Scotland to lift the Europe Cup title for
the very first time.
to Suzanna Young and Louise Hepburn on doing it for Scotland
(Louise also won the Women’s Singles). Can’t leave
Wales out! Julie Gore and Jan Robbins won the Women’s
Pairs and Julie was also crowned Denmark Open Women’s
Champ - and Lakeside World Champion Mark Webster, who retained
the Europe Cup Men’s Singles title for the second successive
joins an elite club of just three players to have done this
since 1978 – the other two being John Lowe and Phil
THE WAY TO EUROPE CUP IT!
night of the League of Legends at the Circus Tavern was one
of the best ‘fun’ nights I’ve had in darts
for a long, long time.
I thought I’d never stop!
was packed to the roof and all the players – and the
truly amazing crowd – had the time of their lives. It
reminded me of the great days of darts in the 70s and 80s,
but somehow as you get older nights like this get better and
it has been a long summer playing in the Legends, it has been
a privilege to be back on the oche with Eric, Lowbo, Dave
and the rest of the team.
The Legends are back in business (much to the frustration
of one or two!) and we will be on Setanta again next summer
– as well as in a whole string of Legends Nights all
over the country.
one or two people out there (they know who they are) who thought
they knew it all, but The Legends have shown them what the
At my age I should be thinking of retiring, but I have never
been busier in my whole life. It’s tiring, but there’s
plenty of fun and lovely bees and honey!!
THE WAY TO LEGENDS IT!
know there’s a ‘credit crunch’ at the minute,
but on a recent trip to London to do some filming for ITV
(which I will tell you more about in a future column) I was
in Liverpool Street railway station when I needed to go to
Adam and Eve it, I had to ask an old lady for change because
it now costs a shocking 30p to have a pee!
only want one pee, but it’s going to cost 30p, darling’
I said as she changed my 50p (it’s all p’s!).
it wasn’t a case of ‘to pee, or not to pee’
it was a case of taking the pee for 30 pee!
THE WAY TO PEE IT!