Patrick Chaplin: Book & Product Reviews

John Lowe

Old Stoneface Reveals All In His Autobiography

John Lowe  'Old Stoneface' The Autobiography of Britain's Greatest Darts PlayerThree times World Professional Darts Champion, John Lowe, has recently completed the task of writing his first major work of autobiography.

Although in the pipeline for a long time, it was not until the summer of 2004 that John was able to schedule the time to write this, his fourth book. John says, “The first two books were basically ‘how to play’ and consisted of passing on my skills and knowledge to my readers. The third book ‘The John Lowe Story – Inside Pro Darts with the World Champion’ was my first stab at autobiography and took my story up to 1987.”

For that work he was assisted by author Bryan Cooney, but for the new book John brought Essex-based Darts Historian, Patrick Chaplin, on board. John says,

“Patrick has built up a considerable reputation within the darts community over the years and his work on the history of our sport is yet to be fully recognised.” He added “Patrick’s input to my work, especially setting my life in the context of darts history, has been invaluable, ensuring that the book is something entirely new.” By adopting this refreshing new approach to writing the life of a top darter John anticipates attracting readers both within and outside of the world of darts.

What of the ‘Gentleman John’ image? Surely John’s life in darts has been non-controversial? Won’t this mean that the book will lack excitement? John responds, “That shows how little people know about the real John Lowe. ‘Gentleman’? Maybe, but isn’t it always the quiet ones that turn out to be the worst – the ones with all the secrets?”

John has been involved in professional darts for three decades. He was one of the first full-time professionals of the 1970s and has seen both sides of the game – the glitz and the glamour and amazing success and gloom and despondency. “I’ve been there, done that, seen it all, had fun and got the bruises” says John.

“Forget anything I have written before. That was restrained. That was then. This is now. In this book I’ve gone back to Day One and take readers on a roller-coaster ride - telling it like it is and was. There’s so much more to darts and to my life than people imagine. It’s not just about winning tournaments. Also, until now, no one has revealed what life is really like on the circuit. I change all that.” John takes the lid off of darts and reveals the true nature of the modern game, something that no other dart player has dared to do thus far. And there are the politics of the game too.

“I was directly involved in ‘the split’ of 1993” says John, “when a number of professional players parted company with the British Darts Organisation: a move that led to the setting up of what is now the Professional Darts Corporation. I never perceived it as a ‘split.’ It was more like all out war! I was present in court when the Tomlin Order was delivered. Not surprisingly I’ve a few things to say about the situation both before and after that judgement!”

“I’ve made some great friends in the business over the years” says John. “The book features those players whom I feel warrant the title of ‘great’ but there are a few others who, in my opinion, demand no respect at all.” John is clearly expecting his book to upset a few people.

Unlike a good number a professional darters who begun their careers in the 1970s, John, who celebrates his 60th birthday in July and thirty years as a professional darts player during 2005, is still competing at the top level, still playing against – and often beating – the very best. He has appeared in world championship finals every year since 1978 and is still going strong. However, John thinks that it is time to tell the full story and he believes he is the one best placed and qualified to do it.

“Since the age of 21” says John, “darts has been my life. And what a life! I may appear to be ‘The Quiet Man of Darts’. However, my book reveals the real me – the real John Lowe. Many will be surprised at what they read.”

John’s autobiography ‘Old Stoneface – The Autobiography of Britain’s Greatest Darts Player’ – in hardback priced at £17.99 - will be published by John Blake in October and orders can be placed by contacting John Blake Publishing, 3 Bramber Court, 2 Bramber Road, London, W14 9PB (0207 381 0666) (website www.blake.co.uk.)

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© Patrick Chaplin 2005

Old Stoneface my Autobiography John Lowe (paperback)

John Lowe  'Old Stoneface' The Autobiography of Britain's Greatest Darts Player - Paperback

It is with great pleasure that I can announce the publication on John Lowe’s autobiography ‘Old Stoneface’ in paperback form.

John Lowe first published the hard backed version of his autobiography back in 2005 to great critical acclaim. The paper backed version will not disappoint due to the additional chapter that brings John’s darting career and life up to date.

John Lowe needs no introduction as he is one of the most famous names in recent darts history. John was the first person to record a perfect nine dart finish on television winning him a staggering £102,000 for his effort. He has also won the ‘World Darts Championship’ no less than three times in three different decades and countless other titles. His autobiography is a truly honest account of his life within the sport of darts. He reveals both the good and bad times of his life; the break up of his first marriage and the success he achieved with the sport of darts. John was also one of the sixteen professional dart players that moved away from the BDO in 1993 and with his fellow darters formed the PDC. He covers all this within his book and it won’t disappoint.

The additional chapter to the paperback version is most welcome. It bring John’s darting career up to date and covers additions to the Lowe family. After retiring form the PDC circuit John now finds himself back in the lime light with the Legends tour along side other famous names such as Eric Bristow and Bobby George.

If you didn’t manage to purchase a copy of John’s autobiography the first time around then make sure you do this time. If you did then the addition to the original is well worth a read.

‘Old Stoneface my autobiography’ by John Lowe is published by John Blake on the 29th June 2009 £7.99

Internet purchase can be made via John Blake publishing

Publisher: Blake Publishing 29 June 2009 ISBN: 9781844547579

David King

June 2009

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