I first met Allan Plant (pictured) in the early Noughties in Hull, England at the WINMAU World Masters and found him to be a very knowledgeable, engaging and fascinating man. My wife Maureen and I were ‘entertained’ by him at Hull for several years. His stories were always interesting and his jokes terrible! We were both saddened to hear of his death in 2016.
Here John Williams, General Secretary of the Welsh Darts Organisation, pays tribute to Allan.
Former Welsh international and Gwent county darts player Allan Plant has died at the age of 76.
Allan represented Wales on eight occasions and was also well known in his later years for his darts accessories business. He was a familiar figure with his wife Shirley at his darts stall especially at the Welsh Open event in Prestatyn. The couple were married for almost 50 years before Shirley died in 2008. They leave behind children Stephen, William, Melvin and Darral, fifteen grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren.
Allan was born in New Tredegar in 1939 to his parents Doris and Irvin, joining his sisters Iris and Norah and brother Victor. He and Shirley moved to Newport in 1965 and it was throughout the 1970s and early 1980s that Allan was most active on the Newport darts scene, winning countless trophies in singles and in pairs, where he and Tony Ridler enjoyed great success.
His love of darts started in childhood and his first dartboard was a telegraph pole outside his home. He was also a very handy snooker player but chose to concentrate on his darts.
As a proud Welshman, the pinnacle for him was being selected to play for Wales at a time when he was ranked joint-18th in the world, along with another left-handed player – Alan Glazier.
As the remainder of the top 20 were right-handed players, Allan and Alan Glazier were effectively the best left-handed darts players in the world. On one occasion, he even played right-handed for Wales when his left hand was injured.
Years later, Allan was also proud to serve as an official of the Welsh Darts Organisation. That passion for the sport saw the Plants start their business selling darts equipment at Merthyr Tydfil market and in Porthcawl.
His funeral was held on Tuesday 12th May at Lliswerry Baptist Church and Allan was buried at Christchurch Cemetery in Newport.
[Note: This obituary was first published in Darts World in July 2016. My thanks to John Williams for granting his permission for me to reproduce the obituary and photograph here. ]
Following the publication of the above obituary in the August edition of Dr. Darts’ Newsletter (#74, July 2016), Vince Bluck, the Managing Director of NODOR International, wrote to say:
Thanks so much for including the obituary of Allan. As well as a great ambassador for Welsh darts, he was just a great guy and a great friend for 35 years.
I was also informed that Allan was the only British international player to play darts both left-handed and right-handed for his country. A natural left-hander he threw right-handed on one occasion when his left hand was injured!
Patrick Chaplin (July and August 2016 and November 2019)