THE WAY TO DO IT! By BOBBY
believe it? This is my last column of the year and it seems
like it was only yesterday that I was saying it will soon
be Xmas again – and it is!
flies when you’re enjoying yourself!!
I probably said the same thing last year, in fact I know I
did, but Xmas doesn’t make much difference at George
Hall, because every day of the year is Xmas here! At least
Marie and the kids think it is as they eat, drink and continue
to be merry, while I work my NUTS off to pay for it!
really is a memorable – and ridiculously expensive -
month for the George family with three birthdays in the space
of a week!
spoilt the gag this year, because I was going to say that
I celebrate my 21st on the 16th, but I can’t because
Robert really is 21 on the 12th – lucky so and so. Mind
you, it doesn’t change anything because he’s had
the key to the door for as long as I can remember –
and these days it’s me who has to knock to get in!
be an ever youthful but stiffer (in terms of aches and pains
and not the other!) 63 on the 16th and young Richie celebrates
his 19th on the 18th.
the George’s will be partying at George Hall from the
12th to New Year at the very earliest!
THE WAY TO CELEBRATE IT!
then move on to Lakeside 2009 and another nine days of great
darts, but more of that next month.
I want to look back a few weeks to a lovely hour of nostalgic
TV called ‘Eric Bristow’s Golden Darts’.
I was more
than happy to contribute to this programme, because anyone
of a certain age will have enjoyed every minute of looking
back at the great days of televised darts.
people raving about standards and average today, but the likes
of Eric, Jocky, Lowbo and myself, were not too bad either
– as this programme proved.
at what Anderson – Bob not Gary – did in the World
Masters. He won three on the spin from 1986 to 1988, and the
programme showed him taking out five consecutive legs of darts
with 100+ checkouts!
Cliff Lazarenko to say: ‘I don’t think Taylor
has ever done that’
was Lowbo’s marvellous 9-darter in the MFI World Matchplay
when he checked 141 with t17, t18, d18 to fill his boots with
£102,000! I think that’s when he got that startled
wide-eyed look that has been with him ever since.
he never even bought a round of drinks. How cruel can you
be? He’s not mean, just careful. That cheque’s
probably still intact! The state MFI are in today, he could
probably buy the company!
THE WAY TO WIN IT!
with Eric’s programme, I was over-the-moon that the
programme makers decided to include the ‘News Of The
World Championships’. They were the first real ‘world
championships’ going right back to the 1930s, and the
first competitive darts on television.
were incredible. There were thousands upon thousands in Wembley
Pool Stadium when I played my 1979 final against Alan Glazier
and I couldn’t believe how young we looked.
some of the audience see the darts? There were no big screens
in those days – just binoculars and telescopes!
it by saying that I might be known as Bobby Bling today, but
almost 30 years ago, I was a hard working Londoner (I dug
tunnels and laid floors for a living) who he nicknamed Bobby
cheek! But he was right. I played that final looking like
a canary in a yellow top, and I don’t think there was
a bit of gold anywhere.
a marathon that tournament was! Months of competitive darts
without any seeds. No pop stars. You played who you got, throwing
from 8 feet in just 3 Legs of darts! (those three inches made
all the difference – ask Marie!).
1979 Championships I played loads of legs (so many that I
lost count) on a wooden board with trebles half the size they
are today, and never had more than 15 darts a leg! Even I
find it hard to believe, but it’s a matter of history
and I’m very proud of it.
I am also
proud of the fact that I became the first player to hit a
180 in a News Of the World final up to that year. We played
on a wooden board soaked in water (you could actually see
the water seeping out as the darts went in). Alan, who was
a great player, started the second leg with a 140 and I must
have thought ‘I’m not having that’ so I
hit 180, 140 and then checked out on 15 darts to win the title.
THAT’S THE WAY TO NEWS OF THE
to say that I enjoyed the European Darts on ITV-4 for a particular
reason: It suddenly occurred to me while I was watching that
there was no politics in the commentary or interviews.
was duly acknowledged when necessary and no one dished out
any unfair or unjust criticism. The darts were also good,
but then everyone who knows anything about darts will freely
acknowledge that there is only the odd darts (or double) between
the boys at the top of their game.
were allowed to do the talking (just as they do on BBC) and
for that reason alone, it was a breath of fresh air and all
the more enjoyable as a result.
just a pity that they didn’t have a proper spotter.
Some times the camera was all over the place, but that had
nothing to do with the shaky hands of the cameraman! It was
down to dodgy spotting and I have to say it spoilt the enjoyment
of the darts at times. Lots of people have mentioned it, so
it’s not just me.
the most important person in a TV darts production team is
the good, young Adrian Lewis was outstanding – especially
in his Quarter-Final demolition of Raymond Barneveld. What
a game that was!
He hit everything and Raymond was shell-shocked. And who wouldn’t
off like a train and hit an unbelievable 127 outshot with
Barney sitting on 24. Barney didn’t do much wrong, but
the 23 year-old was unstoppable. Great darts from a great
youngster and lovely to watch.
THE WAY TO ITV IT!
on the subject of dartboards, I could never have dreamed 30
odd years ago that I would be making my own boards –
but that’s just what I’m doing.
not made of wood, but they are traditional, with round wires
and staples, and they are Made In England, which is a claim
that few (if any) of today’s dartboard manufacturers
what? I’ve just made a pink one for breast cancer awareness.
of the traditional colours, the doubles, trebles and bullseye
are in a shocking pink to signify that they are for the cause
that has led to golfers, footballers and jockeys, among others,
to wear pink in order to support research into breast cancer.
came from Sharon (Shaz) and Terry Sweeney, who run a specialist
darts stall in Clacton Covered Market called D B Dartst. They
took it over last year when the founder of the stall, Dave
Barnes, sadly lost his battle against
Sharon and Terry (son of the late, great Jim Sweeney –
who could be seen in the ‘Noddy Box’ in Eric’s
‘Golden Darts’) have tried to give something back
to the darting community - especially when it comes to supporting
the ladies, because Shaz has real weakness for pink!
that ladies teams often moaned about the men using their team
matchboards for practising, so it gave her the original idea
for pink and purple dartboards!
this to Marie (Girl Power!) who then persuaded me and Harry
Kicks to make them. We didn’t stand a chance of saying
no! So we made 50 and I personally signed every one.
idea took on a life of its own when the Clacton stallholders
decided to support Breast Cancer Awareness by raising funds
for both Breast
Cancer Care and the Breast Cancer Campaign.
and Terry sponsored an open Mixed Triple Darts Tournament
using the pink dartboard in the final, which was won by ‘The
Balders plus One’ (Matt and Rosie Baldwin, John Palmer)
who beat ‘The
Gay Team’ (Sheila Busby, Tony Viner, Peter Derek).
received trophies presented by Viv Dundon, and the winning
team became proud owners of the limited edition board.
show how generous darts people are in these tight times, Sharon
and Terry raised £700.
Bottom of Form
hugely popular among the ladies as well as the men. Let’s
face it, with the bullseye looking like a nipple, it is more
fun checking out on the nipple rather than the bull!
THE WAY TO NIPPLE IT!
People’s Darts has been a great success and everyone
will have a chance to see the top pub players at Lakeside
during the BBC’s coverage next month.
shows me with Gordon Rodger, the winner from The Albion pub
in Hackney, where we had a great night in the company of lolts
of lovely darts players, as well as Olly Croft and Bob Potter,
who are supporting this luvverly, jubberly initiative that
is taking darts back into pubs.
THE WAY TO JOIHN SMITH’S IT!
to all my readers. May you get everything you asked Santa
for – and more.