Belgium’s first top international darts star

Luc Marreel was born in Gullegem, near Menin, Belgium on 5th February 1949.

Luc (pictured) first came to prominence when he won the Frankrijk Open in 1978. A short time later Derek Brown, author of The Guinness Book of Darts,wrote that Luc, a railway worker, had ‘emerged as his country’s most dangerous player of 1980, his record including some fine scoring in the Europe Cup.’

Luc was the first Belgian to play in the Embassy World Professional Darts Championship. He was seeded 15th for the 1981 tournament which Brown described at the time as ‘a rare honour for a Continental player.’ In that year Luc beat Jan Larsen (Denmark) 2-1 to make it through to the second round where he was beaten 2-0 by England’s Tony Brown.

He then qualified for the Embassy in 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1985 but never made it beyond the second round. In the second round of both the 1982 and 1983 Embassy it was Sweden’s Stefan Lord who halted Luc’s progress even though their averages were very similar.

Luc also participated in many other top darts tournaments including the WINMAU World Masters (1981, 1982, 1983, and 1984), the Nations Cup (1977, 1980-85), the Europe Cup (1980, 1982 and 1984) and the World Cup (1983). Luc was a top-class player who was well-known and respected by players in his own country and throughout the world of darts.

Luc passed away on 11th May 2015.

England’s John Lowe wrote on Facebook:

Luc Marreel one of the pioneering dart players of the 80’s and one of Belgium’s greats passed away at the weekend. Luc was 66. Luc played in the BDO World championship five times. I remember playing against him on numerous occasions and one that stands out from the rest an exhibition in Gullegem, Belgium where 600 people turned out, many of them to support Luc. That was the night I met Luc’s family member. It was Luke’s sister Christa who informed me of Luc’s passing. I know he will be sadly missed. RIP my good friend.

On hearing of Luc’s death Thierry Gellinck, a subscriber to my Dr. Darts’ Newsletter, wrote:

Sad to say that one of my idols I looked up to when I started darts died today (11th May), our very own Belgian great player Luc Marreel. Too soon he’s gone to the other side. My condolences to his sister Christa Marreel and sons Geoffrey Marreel and Marreel Wesley. I for sure will never forget him.

From the USA Steve Brown posted:

Sad news. Great player, great character, and a lovely guy.

© 2015-2019 Patrick Chaplin

(My thanks to Danny Desmidt for information relating to Luc’s career. Image of Luc courtesy DW/PC Archive. Used with permission.)

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