Superstars of Darts - Issue 13
May 04, 2005 02:23 PDT
SUPERSTARS OF DARTS
Issue Thirteen – May 2005
The Superstars of Darts newsletter is sponsored by unicorn – The Big
Name in Darts
An Interview with Bobby George
On The Road With The Lion
Players and Event News
Round The Web
A bit of flag waving this time around. After being forced to switch the
Superstars of Darts message forums around due to an impending website
closure, I’m pleased to report that we’ve come of age with some state of
the art discussion forums at the website.
The flagship is of course the “Off The Oche” discussion forum where the
website prides itself on its generally interesting and knowledgeable
debates. The presence and regular participation of many top players from
the sport stand testimony to this. If you are sceptical about Darts
forums please take a look at this one, all are welcome.
In addition I am delighted to add two new top players forums. As well as
the established forums for Dave Whitcombe, Lionel Sams, Peter Evison,
Robbie Green and Barry Jouannet, I am delighted to welcome two great
players with forums of their own. (Yes there’s an Alan Warriner forum as
well and I’m still hoping he’ll appear at some point!)
The first BDO player to take up a forum at Superstars of Darts is Tony
Eccles. And what a player he is. An England International who has won
many events, he really burst into prominence earlier this year by
winning the Dutch Open.
The second player has been involved in some of the greatest darts
matches ever seen. That is not an exaggeration. After a couple of years
out of the game, Chris Mason appears to have come back stronger than
ever. A player with an undoubted special talent, a major title must go
his way soon.
So please welcome ‘Mace the Ace’ and ‘The Viper’ to Superstars of Darts.
The offer of a free forum is open of course to any dart player that has
appeared on TV, please drop me a line if you’d like further information
There has been lots of polling run in and around the UK lately and I
have counselled the Superstars of Darts forum members for their vote as
to who will lift the inaugural Darts Premier League title. A very
decisive vote from the members incredibly showing that 100% of votes
were cast for Phil Taylor. Yes, World number one Colin Lloyd didn’t get
a single vote nor did the other five contenders.
I’m especially delighted with this month’s interview. Household names to
do with Darts are few and far between. However there is little doubt
that Bobby George is that, both here in the UK and in Holland. So over
to the man that needs no introduction … Bobby George.
An Interview With Bobby George
Bobby George is a legend of Darts and has made the important crossover
from not being just a top Darts player but also a popular Television
personality in the UK. In Holland, Bobby is perhaps even more revered
and he makes his return to the big Darts stage in the prestigious
International Darts League (televised in Holland) in May.
Q. Can I start by taking a trip down memory lane. Would it be fair to
say you first sprang to the darts public's attention back in 1979 with
your first News Of The World win? Some of the most widely shown footage
in Darts is of that victory against Alan Glazier with what seemed to be
an incredible atmosphere. What are your memories of this day and has
there ever been a tournament with an atmosphere like that since?
Bobby George : I actually reached the News of the World 'grand finals'
in 1978 at my first attempt. I had to get back the next year and win it
which I did (I believe I have reached more 'grand finals' than anyone)
and yes what an atmosphere. Biggest audiences ever! Don't think we will
ever see the like again. Can I just say what a lovely guy Alan Glazier
is - he is the sort of guy that if you trod on his toes he would say
Q. Your second News Of the World win was of course scuppered by a
television strike. Perhaps you can relive that one for us as if any film
exists of your win over Rick Ney, it's not very often shown?
Bobby George : I remember playing Ritchie Gardener and he said to me
'it's took me 10 months to get here and 3 minutes to get beat'. Best of
3 legs - nappy job - dangerous. My final against Rick was deafening.
When I was introduced the whole arena was cheering - poor old Rick (from
the USA) got introduced and the whole arena booed - shook him up a bit -
that was the News of the World, one of a kind.
Q. You had plenty of success in other tournaments such as the Butlins
Grand Masters. Any special memories of that event?
Bobby George : The Butlins Grand Masters was held in Birmingham in the
biggest pub in the world - it had more bars than Chelmsford Prison! All
the masters of the world played in it - best of 9 legs all the way
through - I always did well there.
Q. And then of course there are the Embassy World Championships where
you really made a name for yourself over the years, both as a player and
these days as a tv pundit. If you had to pick just one, what would be
your personal most special Embassy moment?
Bobby George : It’s got to be the 1980 Embassy. Getting to the final at
my first attempt was very handy. That was the start of the candelabras
and the glitter and the start really of players getting the crowd going
- Eric and I had a great time.
Q. You took the decision to leave the darts circuit to pursue exhibition
work for a few years of course and then made a comeback in the 90s and
reached the final against John Part in 1994. This was just after darts
infamous split. Notably you were about the only big name to remain
committed to the BDO at that point. What convinced you to stay put and
not go with the other players?
Bobby George : I had so much exhibition work that it was hard to juggle
the two. In any case my main sponsor at the time, Courage Brewery,
didn't want me travelling the world trying to get points, they wanted me
in their pubs and clubs. So I made the decision to take the road of
guaranteed money.........you can't eat trophies! My comeback to the
Embassy was in 1993 when I reached the semi's which gave me the
automatic entry back in 1994. To be quite honest with you I wasn't asked
to join the other players! But it would not have made any difference to
my situation or career if I had gone with them so I just carried on
doing my own thing.
Q. You are about to return to big time Darts, courtesy of an invitation
to play in the SBS-6 televised International Darts League in May. It's
the first time you have played in a big finals for a few years, do you
have any particular preparation for the event?
Bobby George : It's been just over 2 years since I played in a big event
- the 2002 Embassy and the 2002 World Darts Trophy in Holland - so not
too long ago. I'm really looking forward to the IDL and meeting up with
the lovely people of Holland. Like I always say 'darts is on the day' -
'if they go they go, if they don't they don't'!
Q. I suppose we can look forward to a very quiet on stage entrance?
Bobby George : I'm thinking about a new outfit for my entrance....my
birthday suit is looking favourite! That will certainly stun my
opponent! No, my entrance will be very normal!
Q. Some (stupidly in my opinion) have completely written off your
chances in the tournament. However players such as Bob Anderson have
proved that there is no age limit to potential success. Do you feel you
have a point to prove to the "nay" sayers?
Bobby George : Bob Anderson has been playing some great darts and I
agree there is no age limit in darts but like I've already said, darts
is on the day. In any profession you have good days and you have bad
days. No. I don't feel I have anything to prove - I'm still as busy
today as I was in the eighties and as far as I'm concerned that's proof
Q. Any truth to the rumour that you've been offered a part in
Bobby George : There have been a few rumours going round. Nothing to
report at the moment!
Q. Finally can I counsel your expert opinion on a few darts names? One
sentence only please summing up your thoughts on the person/player.
Phil Taylor - Fantastic darts player but plastic as far as I'm
John Lowe - My personality clashes with his non-personality.
Eric Bristow - We go back a long way!
Darryl Fitton - Talented player and seems a nice guy.
Martin Adams - I call him 'Captain Marvel' - come on boys charge!!
Ted Hankey - Great player, lovely style - no airs and graces.
Raymond van Barneveld - Not liked much in his own country but he has
always been a gentleman to me.
Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer
On The Road With The Lion – Lionel Sams
By now you will have read the Interview with Bobby George and I hope my
column is still a good read for you all. One thing I would like to say
to the Caped Crusader above (lol!) is thanks for the emails after
Purfleet – it was nice to know of the support from Marie and yourself.
Think a BG message board would be a good idea – that’s the way to post
April has been a funny old month – not many tournaments but plenty of
First it was good to see that Gerry Convery has made the grade for the
Desert Classic (he was very impressive during Purfleet) and I think he
has nerves of steel (well tungsten anyway). Unlucky to Wayne Morrisey
who was just 5 points behind him but at least will get to catch up with
him at Vegas. (His sense of humour is second to none – but he’s not a
very good wine waiter!). Also, well done to George Walls, John Kuczynski
and Darin Young who have come through 20 odd tournaments to get the
Wildcard spots for Vegas. I am especially pleased for Darin and Johnny K
– just hope when I qualify I don’t get Darin again!! Just joking, it’s
a pleasure to play him. (If you are wondering why the statement, ‘When I
qualify’ it’s because you cannot afford to have the thinking pattern of
‘If I qualify’ as that’s defeatist before you begin. So I am trying to
be a lot more positive about every game now).
The UK Midland Open at Sheffield was the first event this month and
Caroline, Myself, Pete Evison and Reg Harding set out very early on
Saturday morning to be there in good time. We got Pete to his venue by
9am and spent another hour finding our venue (only 6 miles away)!.. Reg
was unlucky early on with the darts but very lucky with the playing
Cards! (Think he got automatic entry for the Card School!!). I had
prepared well for this event as it was the last one for determining the
final Order of Merit for Bolton. My first game was against Colin
Osborne and boy did he give me a run for my money – I just won through
with a 5-4 scoreline but in all reality it was anyone’s game right up to
the last double! (And thankfully I got it).. Next up was another one of
those games but with Gary Dellow who is a nice bloke and a very good
player – this game was very up and down and although the scoring was
either brilliant or not happening at times – the pressure was always
there as again all 9 legs were played and there was never much in it –
so with that win under my belt – I was hoping for a shorter game next
Along walks Eric Clarys and I thought – ‘Just what I didn’t need after 2
marathon games’ – oh well – lets get to it. Eric is one of many players
who I will never relax against as nothing I do will deter him from
winning. Well, Eric fired off 2 x 180’s and proceeded to take the first
leg in 13 darts – I thought, 'oh here we go again'!. So I woke up and
let My Darts do the talking for the next 5 legs! Eric was always close
behind me and he had a few shots so close to the trebles that landed a
fraction of a millimetre outside of the wire. (Well, lucky for me – I
took that game 5-1 and promptly reminded him that he did owe me that win
from Scotland UK Open when he bashed me 5-2).. When I say Eric was
outside on the trebles, I don’t just mean the treble 20’s as he has this
knack of firing his darts all across the board and still leaving what he
wants to.. Confuses me, so I will stick with what I know.
Phil Jones called out for the last 8 at our venue to change boards and
so I was now one game away from coming back on Sunday!! My darts were
going well, my mindset was focused and I was well up for my next game.
I was drawn against Josephus Schenk and being a young lad from Holland –
I knew I had to keep my momentum going to see this through. This game
started really well for me and I kind of blurred into the match without
realising too much of anything going on around me. My first 2 legs were
in 12 darts (with 121 and 136 finishes) and the third leg in 15,
finishing with 81. Josephus took the 4th leg in 17 and I finished the
5th and 6th also in 12 darts. Josephus had a lot of bad luck with
scoring 60 continuously and I think this got to him as I was not missing
anything at all. I had started every leg with 140, 180 or 180 and 140
and my finishing all came together – He had a terrific run at Purfleet
last year and I am sure he will be back there again. My practising on
set ups had well and truly paid off. Josephus won't be at Bolton as he
had not done the required 3 events but feel sure he will be climbing
those rankings sooner rather than later!
We stayed up at Sheffield at a Travel Inn and enjoyed a drink and the
Bullseye quiz game with Michael and Brian Barnard.. (Little did I know I
was to get him first game next day!!!) – wish I’d plied him with more
drink..(Only joking Michael).
On Sunday, I arrived early for practice and was pleased to also see Mick
Manning, Mark Thomson and Jimmy Mann had all got through. Michael and I
had a very quick game – he beat me 5-0 – I wasn’t actually playing bad
at all though and had missed 121 twice by hitting 25 not the bull and
the legs Michael took out to start with were 126 and 97. We had both had
our share of 180s but end of day, Michael won and fair play to him.
Mark Walsh bt Terry Jenkins and then took out Michael in the Semis.
Mark Thomson lost to Jimmy Mann in a match that could have been either
way, with Tommo leading and then Jimmy reversing the situation. Both
these players are good friends of mine and I think they did great, Jimmy
especially as he went and won it beating Walshy in the final. That’s
one young Mann that’s going to go places.. (Starting with number 3 in
the UK Open Order of Merit rankings) not a bad start eh! I finished
joint 32nd but dropped to Number 33 below Mark Holden – along with Alan
Warriner and Eddie Lovely. (So nearly made it again!! – one day soon I
will make it!)
Antwerp Open was next and we drove to this with Pete Evison – I lost
last 64 to Chris Van Den Burgh who went on to the last 16 to be ousted
by Yves Cottenge 4-1. Peter Evison fared better and made the last 32 –
he lost to Mario Vandenbogarde who also exited at last 16.
Terry Jenkins went on to win beating Mikel Van Maastright in the final.
Next up was the Open Holland and I flew across with Peter Evison, Mark
Walsh and Dave Askew – Caroline was back home child minding for the
weekend! So I had to do well to report back. Almost everyone had turned
out for this event and there were some very tough games ahead.
Peter made last last 64 – Myself and Dave made last 16 and Walshy made
the Semi’s. My consolation was that I went out to the bloke that won it!
– Erwin Extercatte – and he had been consistent all day long (it was a
long day as well!!) He beat Mark Dudbridge in the final by 3 sets to 2.
There is not too much happening in May now as Bob Anderson's event has
been cancelled and I wont be doing Montreal (lack of funds).. Need to
win something eh. But I will be doing the Hampshire Open, and the
Hayling Island events. If anyone knows of other comps going during May –
please let me know. Email firstname.lastname@example.org I will also be doing
Sheppey Classic in early June and looking forward to the new Bigger
Venue – great practice just before Bolton.
If anyone wants to buy a car, I am selling mine and it will be on my
website within a few days.. www.lionelsams.com
Until next month, Cheers and all the best to you
Visit the Lionel Sams website at http://www.lionelsams.com
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Players and Event News
Stephen Bunting has a new website with a lot of his personal involvement
A fan site for the “Russian Sensation” Anastasia Dobromyslova has been
set up at www.dobromyslova.com
John Lowe has announced that his tell all autobiography will be out in
October and is to be called “Old Stoneface”.
Mark Dudbridge has entered into a new sponsorship deal with Harrows
Round The Web
News stories about Darts from around the world:
NEW ZEALAND : Manawatu darts player Derrick Samson purses up his lips
when you ask him why he's called ET. "No one know to this day knows why
and I'd like to keep it that way," Samson firmly says outside the
Hastings Darts Association Hall in Kings Street, in between deep drags
on his cigarette after collecting the $1000 prize money in the North
Island Masters Championships yesterday. But the 42-year-old has no
qualms about disclosing what he does for a living. "I sell drugs," he
says, taking another drag amid pin-drop silence, getting 100 percent
attention from other competitors. (Source : Hawkes Bay Today)
ENGLAND : Before Britain's biggest horse race 'The Grand National' a
team of jockeys took to the Oche to take on some of the country's top
darts players and footballers in a charity match. Among those
representing darts were Phil Taylor, Robbie Green and Dennis Priestley,
while Everton midfielder Kevin Kilbane played as well as Liverpool star
Jean Arne Riise. The match was to raise awareness for the Alder Hey
Children's Hospital in Liverpool.
ENGLAND : Eric Bristow launched the finals of the Spirit Group's
National Darts Classic recently. The competition featured players from
the Spirit Groups 300 pubs across the country. Over £12,000 in prize
money was made available and Bristow commented on the high standard.
""Players travelled from as far as Aberdeen and Exeter to compete for
the title, proving how passionate people are about darts. The players
were of a very high standard and there were some impressive scores so
I’m sure we will be seeing them on TV.” (source : The Publican)
DUBAI : Romeo Dagalea popularly known in the darts circle as ‘Bong’
denied Louis Portugal the former UAE darts champion the taste of the
premier singles darts title at the Al Nasr Leisureland (Nashwan Hall) as
he won through the field of 32 to take the title himself. (Source :
GUERNSEY : Island player Jason Allez had two island flags and a
dartboard shaved onto his head for his latest appearance. It caused
quite a stir when the 24-year-old took to the stage at the darts
inter-insular recently. ‘I had a tribal design done for last year’s
match,’ he said. ‘I’m now known for it and I like to do it for a bit of
fun. It takes the edge off the darts.’ It took more than three hours to
create the design of two white, red and gold Guernsey flags either side
of the head and a black and red dartboard on the back. ‘I don’t know
what I’m going to do for next year yet,’ said Allez. ‘I might get some
writing down onto the top of my head so that when I win I’ll bow to my
opponents to give them a message.’ (Source : Guernsey Free Press)
BRUNEI : Aji bin Rejab of the Top Point team bagged the top honour in
the 3-day KBT Single Darts Championship organised with support from the
Brunei Darussalam National Darts Association (BNDA), in conjunction with
the Sultanate's National Day.
Second was Amiruddin Hj Abdi Manaf of KDKK. 112 darters took part in the
championship, which was held at the residence of Pengiran Mohammad Pg Hj
Matarsad in Kg Kiarong from April 29 to May 1. SSD's Jamil Abdullah had
the "Highest Finish" with his 137 mark. (Source : Borneo Bulletin)
ENGLAND : Due to the lack of opportunities to play 501 singles in Super
League in the Plymouth area, a new league is being formed. It will
commence on Friday July 15 and will consist of a minimum of 10 teams and
a maximum of 14. The format will consist of two triples played over the
best of three legs of 701, three pairs, best of three 601 and six
singles, which will test individual's skills over the best of five legs
of 501. There will be a registration fee of £35.00 per team and a weekly
match fee of £3.00 per player. A 14-team league would generate more than
£7,000 in prize money, boosted by a generous sponsorship deal with a
local business. Any pub or club within the normal Plymouth boundaries
can apply but applications must be made in writing with the names of
proposed players and a contact name and number of the team captain to
Steve Chapman, 32B Crabtree Close, Crabtree, Plymouth, PL3 6PL. Closing
date for entries is Friday June 3. (Source : This Is Plymouth)
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