Darts Trivia Part Four

The following story was posted on alt.sport.darts by Geoff Gant ( softly@pncl.co.uk ):

Eric Bristow - World Champion

“I know darts stories can rival fishermen’s’ for size, speed and accuracy, but here is one that actually happened to me.

It was about 1981, and I was using 28 gramme ‘golden’ darts which were gold plated, gold coloured stems and flights, and for about a month or so I hadn’t been throwing well at all.

I was at an exhibition match featuring Eric Bristow (he was still good then!), and he outed on double 1, bull, double 1; then double 6, double 3. double 1 for 20, and I thought let’s get back to basics – stuff the flash golden darts – buy a set that I can see work and rearrange the practice sessions

At that time, Eric was still with Maureen Flowers (ex wife of a pro soccer player) and she was selling darts, pictures, books and stuff. I bought a set of 22 gram darts (Crafty Cockney style – same as Eric: flights and stems as well).

Towards the end of the evening, I’d had a few too many, and was having problems getting the flights into the stems. Anyway, sitting in the front row with Eric playing the local ‘hero’, I pulled his sleeve in the middle of the second leg and said, ‘I want to check that these darts I’ve bought are the same as yours.’ He took them from me, got the flights in, threw 180 and gave them back and said, ‘Yeh they’re the same!!’ I replied, ‘Fxxk me. Nobody’s going to believe this story are they?’

Eric’s reply, ‘You know and I know. That’s all that matters.'”

Geoff also contributed the following interesting trivia:

  • ‘Darte’ was referred to in 1314, but probably not the game we know.
  • 1901 was the first recorded reference to the game that we know.
  • John Reader of Sussex recorded the first 180 in 1902
  • Oche is an old French verb meaning to notch or nick and is dated well before the advent of darts.
  • In 1898 an American patented a folded paper flight.
  • In 1906 a Yorkshireman patented an all metal barrel.

In December 1977 The World Darts Federation recommended a throwing distance of 7′ 9 1/4″. Up till then there were many different rules:

South Africa 9′: Nottingham 6′: Norfolk 6′ 6″: Newcastle 7′ 3″: Stoke 7′ 1″:

Some Norfolk leagues threw from 6′ 11.9″ (9 foot diagonal to the bull!!)



Back in 1996 John Irwin was playing in a darts match for the British Oak, Rothwell, Leeds against another local pub, the Rosebud in the Rothwell and District Darts League.

He toed the oche and threw his first darts into the red bit. His second dart followed it into the treble twenty at which point the pub phone rang. As John was nearest he stopped and answered the phone. After that, John then re-toed the oche and threw his third and last dart into the treble twenty.

Now this must be the most unusual 180 ever scored?

Or is it?

Let me know through my Contacts page.

© Patrick Chaplin 2009

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