Collector's Website Hits the Target
An early 'Darts World' beermat
There are many thousands of websites available on the internet catering for darts fans but the one devised by American darts fan Mike Young is probably unique.
Mike’s website www.dartsbeermats.com features – Yes, you’ve guessed it – beer mats with a darts theme. Mike, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, told me, “I first became interested in darts around the time I bought a house with a large games room. A pool table was installed first, followed by a WINMAU Blade II dartboard and a wooden Widdy [American] dartboard.” This interest in darts led to Mike beginning to read about the sport and he subscribed to Darts World.
Mike, who also has a huge collection of snooker, billiard and cricket items, started collecting darts-related beer mats in the early 2000s and before long he had enough to set up a website on which to display them all for all to see. Mike said, “I have a number of collecting interests which include beer mats (darts, cricket, snooker, etc), cue sports programs, tobacco and trade cards, cartoons, books, postcards and philatelic items.”
The original darts beer mat website was constructed in 2004 and one of the earliest beer mats to be featured there was one from a series of Darts World mats from the 1980s. Sadly the site was closed down in 2006 due to technical difficulties. However, Mike, who finds most of his mats on the eBay and Delcampe auction sites, resurrected and upgraded his website in August 2009 following encouragement from Andy Fairclough, formerly of www.starsofdarts.com. Since then it has gone from strength to strength with Mike adding new items seemingly every week. Mike also encourages other collectors to submit scans of beer mats, postcards etc for consideration for inclusion on www.dartsbeermats.com.
Mike still regards www.dartsbeermats.com as very much a ‘work in progress’ but darts fans and collectors of darts memorabilia are encouraged to visit and see the wide range of beer mats, postcards, card games and advertising ephemera (some dating back to the 1930s) that Mike has assembled there so far on his fascinating website.
Text © 2010 Patrick Chaplin
NOTE: Unfortunately testing this website in early 2012 the link failed. Hopefully it will be restored soon.
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