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February 2009:

Marie has been at it again! After Lakeside she always gets lovey dovey and I make the mistake of thinking she’s getting all amorous because we haven’t seen much of each other in January. 

But, it’s not that at all. No! It’s because February (at least one day of it) is supposedly the most romantic month of the year. That’s what she always tells me when January is out……and I always fall hook, line and sinker!  

You see, February 14th is St.Valentine’s Day. So all you men out there had better not forget to get cards, flowers and chocolates for the one that you love. 

I reminded you last year, so if you didn’t do it then, you’d better do it now. Remember, Bobby told you! 

Marie tells me that I have no excuse because we actually met on Valentine’s Day many years ago, and it was love at first sight!  At least it was for me.  She took a bit of convincing until she clapped eyes on my single-dart average!   


In fact, Marie has just recorded a programme for Wedding TV called ‘Wags World.’  It will actually come out this month on Sky so it will make Valentine’s Day even more memorable. 

It is the fourth series of a programme that used to concentrate on footballer’s wives, but they’ve decided to include the wives of other sports stars, and I (or Marie) will be representing darts. 

It’s hosted by Lizzie Cundy, wife of ex Chelsea footballer Jason Cundy and I can’t wait to see it – mainly because I don’t know what Marie says about me! 


Once again because of print deadlines, my role as a BBC pundit, and the fact that I am still in a sling following my shoulder operation (the oldest sling(er) in town!)  I am writing this before the end of the World Pro so I won’t be doing anything on that until the March issue! 

Oh what it is to be busy! 

But, I can write about the 2008 Winmau World Masters in December.  What a win for Wolfie Adams, and what a performance by someone who is almost as old as me!  That’ll get him howling!! 

His Semi-Final with Tony O’Shea (another old ‘un!) had me howling I can tell you!  I had forgotten just how good Wolfie and Silverback can be, but I don’t have any doubts now! 

Tony’s single dart average was 33.89, but it wasn’t good enough to beat an on-fire Martin Adams, whose 35.26 average was the highest of the stage finals.  Fancy hitting an average like Tony’s and losing. 

Afterwards he said Martin was awesome and he was right! 

In fact, he was so good that when he got to the final, the 25 Grand cheque wasn’t good enough for Sharon to do the Christmas shopping, so he hit the highest checkout of 160 and pocketed another Grand! Happy Days!!! 


By the way, in addition to that 160 Martin hit another ten 100+ checkouts, and 18 maximums! The other MA – Martin Atkins – hit a great 10 dart leg and runner-up Scott Waites enjoyed an outstanding Masters. 

He helped himself to seven 100+ checkouts – the highest being 140 - and his single dart average in the final was 31.85. 

Just to show that the BDO boys can play a bit, the overall single dart average for the stage matches was an outstanding 31.13. 

My best laugh was when a heavily sweating Marin Adams came up to be interviewed by me and Ray.  We asked if he was worried at all with Scott always being so close to him throughout the final. 

He looked at me and said: ‘I just thought of you telling me not to panic, Bobby, so every time if got a bit pressurised I said to myself: ‘Think of what Bobby said and don’t panic! 

Well, I’m glad he listened, but it made me feel a bit like the bloke in Dad’s Army who used to yell: ‘Don’t panic, Mr.Mannering’! 


For the first time ever, tThe World Masters had joint sponsorship with John Smith’s and I’m pleased to report that their excellent John Smith’s People’s Darts promotion has been a huge success nationwide. 

It will happen again later this year and they are already talking about making it bigger and better and going into 2010. 

I’ve certainly enjoyed my role as a John Smith’s ambassador and mentor, and just like the X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent, we’ve uncovered some very tasty pub players from all around the country. 

It’s nice to be able to give some publicity to the ‘Lakeside 8’ who got to play at Lakeside.  

First off, Adrian Morris, nicknamed ‘The Big Fella’  got to throw a few darts on  the World Masters stage. 
He’s a 35 year-old antiques dealer from Scarborough and represented the Westover Club in the Yorkshire region.  He beat Stuart Monaghan (25) from Woodhouse 3-2 at The Irish Centre in Leeds 
His mentor was John ‘Boy’ Walton and he raised his money for Diabetes UK  
Arthur Jenkins, representing Scotland, was nicknamed ‘Moon Man’ (I wonder why? Does he do a lot of moonies when he celebrates??).  Thankfully, he didn’t do so at Lakeside or Bob Potter would have thrown him out! 

A 43 year old Supermarket Manager from Dunoon, he comes from MacClures Bar and beat Andrew McDougal, 25, from Fife 3-1 at Coundon WMC 
Not surpisingly, Arthur was mentored by me and his charity is the Dunoon Pipe Band. 

The North East was represented by Tommy Dove, who is known as ‘Magic’.  Get it? Magicians always pull doves from their sleeves and other places so that’s how Tommy got his nickname…..Personally I would have called him ‘Coo’ after the noise doves make! 
Anyway, Tommy is a 49 year-old construction worker from Cleveland and his club is Stockton Buffs. He was mentored by Martin Adams and in the Regional Final he beat another old ‘un Ronald McGinty, 54, from Stokesley

3-0 at Coundon WMC. His charity is the Daisy Chain. 
Another player with a great nickname is ‘Teapot’ Timothy Jones from Briton Ferry, who at 31 is a full-time carer for his mother 
He plays for the Rose & Crown and represented South Wales in his Regional Final when he beat Roland Swallow (31) of Chepstow, 3-1 at Willenhall Social Club, Coventry.


What a coincidence that Teapot played Swallow and they were both bit on the neck by The Count,  Ted Hankey who was their mentor. Anyway, Teapot raised his money for Arthritis Care. 

Darren Bennett, better known as ‘Bullseye’ won the Central England Regional Final 
The 42 year-old Railway track operator from Sutton-in-Ashfield didn’t go off the rails (get it?) when he beat an 18 year-old youngster Jack Hill 3-1 
A player from The Mason’s Arms (didn’t know they’d named a pub after Chris?) was also mentored by Ted Hankey and raised his money for the Make A Wish Foundation. 

As always North Wales is in a world of its own when it comes to names. Their Regional Final winner was Owen John Roberts, who nickname is Cymru Am Byth O.J.R.  Now, what on earth does that mean?  I just hope it’s not swearing! 
He’s a 52 year-old Project Manager (now that really could mean anything!) from Llangoed and his pub sounds like a code word: Tafarn Y Rhyd. 
He beat Ricky Lewis from Bucknell 3-1 at King George’s Hall, Blackburn 
Not surprisingly his mentor was Mark Webster, the first player from North Wales to win the World Pro. His charity is Clatterbridge Cancer Research Trust. 
Mark also mentored 40 year-old Mickie Taylor (‘Mickie T) from Accrington 
He represented The Stanley Arms in the North West Regional Final and beat Daz Place from Blackburn 3-0 at King George’s Hall, Blackburn 
His charity in the wonderful MacMillan Nurses 
I mentored a player nicknamed ‘Nut Nut’ when we took the South of England Regional Final.  Not sure whether he was a Whole Nut or a Fruit and Nut! His name was Lee Williams 
Name: Lee Williams from Worcester Park and he triumphed over 
Christopher Eagle from Somerset 3-0 in the final to win a return trip to Lakeside. 


All of the players – and there were hundreds of them – did the first ever staging of John Smith’s People’s Darts proud. 

At times it was hard to believe that every single one of them was an ‘ordinary’ pub player.  The standards were pretty good.  So good that I was glad that I was mentoring and not playing! 

Well done to all concerned.  Especially the boys at John Smith’s who made sure that I got plenty of their luvverly jubberly beer! 


One last touch: To mark the BDO’s support in staging all of the nationwide events they presented a sizeable cheque to Great Ormond Street Hospital on January 11th, the night of the 2009 Lakeside final. 


Which brings me to the end of yet another column, so be happy and May The Darts Be With You........Hasta la Vista




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