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JUNE 2010


Phew! I’m glad that’s over!!  The General Election I mean……it seemed to go on for ages and was more like an X-Factor style reality show than politics.  But then, the way things are today, people are more likely to believe fiction rather than fact!

Having said that, I did get involved (by default) when I met Annabel Goldie, the Scottish Tory leader when I was up in Scotland making some personal appearances at Ramsden’s shops for Ramsden’s ‘Got Gold, Get Cash’ promotion (see photo).

Just to show that I am always on the media radar, our meeting (although brief) was reported in no lesser publication that the Sunday Times!

She was on the campaign trail in the lead-up to the General Election when, according to the Sunday Times, she was delighted to ‘bump’ into me (I quite enjoyed it too!) and apparently my parting shot to her was: ‘Remember, if you’re selling, we’re f***g buying!’

Sounds more like a line from the Ramsden’s TV commercials, or perhaps a new political slogan! Vote for me!!  As it happened, she needed all the help she could get because the poor old Tory party only got one seat in the whole of Scotland!

What was actually said was a bit more funny than that, because she said to me something like: ‘Gordon Brown sold all our gold off cheaply’ and I said to her: ‘If you Conservatives want to sell your gold to us, then Ramsden’s will buy it…..and at a much better f****ing price!’

Is that politically correct?  Do you know what, I don’t give a monkey’s!!

Here’s another one that certainly isn’t: Little Richard Ashdown promised his missus, Kath a night long election!’  Trouble is, Kath misheard and he wasn’t so little after that!

I promised Marie the same but unfortunately for me she’s got perfect hearing!

Now I know what they mean by phrases like a big swing to the right and a  hung parliament!!

Moving on swiftly, I’m pleased that the BDO have at last announced the new venue for this year’s Winmau World Masters, because a certain Darts World columnist will be able to sleep at night, and all the silly rumours can be forgotten once and for all.

We’re all heading for the City Hall in Hull this October to celebrate Halloween Weekend with two-days of wonderful BBC-1 and BBC-2 terrestrial TV coverage of the 37th anniversary of the Masters.

It’s one of my favourite tournaments, because the short 3-Leg sets catch even the big boys cold – especially in the early stages.  I never won it (I wish I had), but I did manage a Quarter-Final place in 1977 and got to the giddy heights of a Semi-Final spot in 1979.

Blimey, 30 odd years have been and gone since then and I still look as ‘andsome!

Seriously, that huge Masters trophy which needs a fork-lift to get above the winners head, has some famous names on it.

Cliff Inglis and Alan Evans were the 1974 (first ever) and 1975 Masters, Big E won it five times, Dave Whitcombe twice and Bob Anderson still holds the record for winning the famous Masters title for three consecutive years (1986 to 1988).

It’s a feat that can be equalled this year by reigning World Master Martin Adams, who successfully defended his 2008 title and will be going all out for a hat-trick in Hull. Mind you, the goalposts have changed in the last few years and Bob had to win his titles from the floor to the stage.

But could it be Ted Hankey’s ‘territory’ on Halloween day – October 31st?
That’s if he’s not gone out with his cloak and bats trick or treating! With Ted you never know whether he’s on the A40 instead of the A1 but he’s never dull or predictable.

What a story either Martin making it three, or Ted winning on Halloween would make for the papers!  But, just like Lakeside, there is no way that anyone can predict who will win the 2010 Masters.

The only certainty is that it will be broadcast by BBC Sport from its new home at Hull’s City Hall on October 30th and 31st……..the perfect antidote to trick or treating for darts players and fans.

Two weeks before the Masters, England are looking for a bit of Turkish delight when they go to Anatalya in Turkey for the WDF Europe Cup.  Although England Men have won the Europe Cup eleven times and been runners-up four times, you have to turn the clock back to 2000 for their last win in The Netherlands.

But after their wins already this year in the Six Nations Cup and the BDO British Internationals, I am looking to them achieving a 2010 hat-trick of International titles.

England have selected their  ‘A Team’ of Martin Adams, Tony O’Shea, Darryl Fitton and Scott Waites, who should be far too strong for the other national sides (at least I hope they are!). 

I am not biased in any way. Honest!

Our ladies have done a lot better in recent Europe Cups. They won in 2004 and 2006 and I reckon the strong partnership of Lisa Ashton and Trina Gulliver can bring the medals back home.

The BDO have yet another new venue to unveil next month, and it’s right on my doorstep!

After many years in Kettering, the BDO British Classic is moving to the expansive (that means big and sprawling) Towerlands Park in Braintree, Essex – just up the road from George Hall.

It’s a great venue with loads of car-parking and first-class conditions for players and punters alike.  There’s even a caravan and mobile home area and an equestrian centre for those who might  fancy a few jumps (over the fences!) first thing in the morning. 

The mind boggles.

Make a note in your diary to be at Towerlands Park, Braintree on Saturday, July 24th, or better still make a weekend of it by staying on to watch the darts stars of today and tomorrow in the British Teenage GB Finals and the BDO Inter-County Youth KO Cup.

Moving from the future to the past, did anyone read Pro-Life’s column last month?  No, let me re-phrase that: Did anyone understand a word of it?? It was probably funny to him – but only to him.

To the rest of us, I can only repeat what I said in my last Blog:
Rubbish. Absolute rubbish!!

Finally, I did an exhibition at Eric Bristow’s and Barry Birch’s pub, The Swan Hotel  in Leek. 

It was to raise some much needed funds for the Ladies League, which is what we did on a very enjoyable night in the Midlands.

The good news is that they’ve made Eric their captain! He’s always looked good in a frock!





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