When my original Darts History website was set up back in 1999, I had no idea how successful it would become or indeed if anyone else out there in the global internet community was interested in the history of the greatest of all sports.
In fact I was staggered by the response from darts fans and within a very short time this website has become more popular than I could ever have imagined.
For those visiting for the first time ever, my name is Dr. Patrick Chaplin, I live in the UK with my wife Maureen and now spend most of my waking hours researching darts. I was born in 1950 and threw my first darts at a fairground when I was seven years old. From the age of twelve I started to try and play darts properly. Between 1976 and 1990 I played for local pub teams both in league play and in out-of-season friendly matches and even won a few in-house trophies.
It was during the 1980s, when I was playing darts for the Blue Boar in Maldon, Essex that I came up with the idea of publishing a newsletter, which was called ‘Out of the Blue’, a few sides of A4 reporting on home and away matches and including odd fact about darts that I had culled, in the main from Derek Brown’s The Guinness Book of Darts.
One day my best friend, Colin Barrell, whilst reading an historical snippet, turned to me and said, “What’s the real history of darts Pat?” I replied, “Give me a couple of weeks and I’ll tell you.”
That was back in 1985 and I’m still researching!
In December 2006, after more than ten years part-time, self-funded research I was awarded a PhD by the Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. I am, therefore, a real ‘DOCTOR of DARTS.’ However, that sounds a bit pretentious, so ‘Patrick’ or ‘Pat’ will do if you ever contact me. (For full details of the road to my PhD please Click Here).
The book based upon that research entitled Darts in England 1900-1939 – A social history was published by the prestigious Manchester University Press in 2009 with a paperback version following in 2012.
I still play friendly pub darts every week or so with Colin and others who may turn up but I have not played in serious competition for many years.
However, I never had any aspirations to become a professional darts champion and indeed 35 years ago I had no idea that I would put my knowledge to good use and eventually become a real Doctor of Darts.
It was Tony Wood, former editor of the British darts magazine Darts World who first called me ‘The Doctor of Darts’. Subsequently I have been called ‘eccentric’ by the prestigious UK daily newspaper The Guardian and ‘an arrers nut’ by the UK’s most popular tabloid, The Sun.
I own up to all of that – and more. Since then I have been interviewed by and featured in numerous local and national newspapers, podcasts and on TV across the globe.
In 2010 I set up a monthly online ‘blog’ titled Dr. Darts’ Newsletter (DDN) the aim of which was, and is, to supplement the articles on this website. It’s a newsletter (minimum of eight pages) to which anyone can subscribe – and it’s absolutely free.
When DDN started out in 2010 I had only a handful of subscribers. Since then numbers have grown into many hundreds, if not thousands, of subscribers in over 120 countries. I think what makes DDN so special to readers is that every month I reveal facts and stories about darts that you will not find on the ‘net.
For sample copies of DDN and how to subscribe see elsewhere on this site.
I am now regarded by many as the world’s leading darts historian and I am known affectionately across the world as ‘Dr. Darts’. This is an authoritative and very popular website covering every aspect of darts, not just darts history.
Researching darts inevitably involves studying the history of English public houses so within this website you will find examples of my work in that area under a discrete Pub History section.
Fans can also approach me directly via my Contact Page to comment on my website and raise any questions they may have about any aspect of the history of our sport.
Through this website I am encouraging those interested in the history and development of the game to share and exchange information. Judging by the kind feedback I have received in the past that it’s working just fine.
But times change and so does the technology. My former website had fallen behind with the times and I decided that now was the time to play catch-up and bring www.patrickchaplin.com, rather belatedly, kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. Engaging a new web host has been key to this new site’s development.
I trust you will enjoy my new website. I hope you will return again and again to discover what new articles have been posted.
Best wishes and extremely happy darting to you all.