Thursday, 30 March 2017

Looking back at Keith Deller's Incredible 1983 BDO World Championship Win!

Hi Guys

Today I would like to take the opportunity to look back at the incredible triumph of Keith Deller in the 1983 BDO World Championship.

Deller was not ranked going into the World Championship and had to go through qualifiers to get into the first round.

In the first round he played the underrated Nicky Virachkul , won 2-1 and averaged 85.20. Now it should be noted that 90+ averages were not the norm back then with only Eric Bristow and John Lowe hitting them with regularity.

In the second round he beat Les Capewell and averaged 91.20 which was the second best average in that round behind Bristow (on 96)

In the Quarter final he faced former Champion (and darting legend) and number 2 seed John Lowe and won 4-3 with an 86.40 average.  This was a major upset.

In The semi-final he faced the number 3 seed and defending champion Jocky Wilson (another legend) and won 5-3 with an average of 85.50.

Then to the final. Facing undoubtedly the greatest player at the time, the legend and the only 2x winner at that point Eric Bristow. In what is one of the greatest matches ever Deller  beat Bristow with the infamous 138 finish , to win 6-5 and average 90.

Let’s put things into perspective.

Deller had to qualify and then in the last 3 matches play the top 3 players in the world.  No one had ever done it before and no one has done so since (34 years later). It is an incredible feat and one that I do not think will ever be replicated.

There will be many that will argue that Deller was never the number 1 player in the world, however that week he was, and no one has ever had a tougher run to the final.

Other fun facts to remember are that Deller actually won using the lightest darts for a world championship winner at 18g (a record that would stand for over a decade), was one of the youngest to ever win it 23 and it was his first appearance on television.

Legend……………………….WITHOUT A DOUBT!!!!

Friday, 24 March 2017

Get the Basics Right: Do Not Ignore Pain! Look at the long game!

Hi guys

As I have posted on this blog before, I have a catalogue of injuries (lower back, right shoulder, right hip and right wrist) which I brought with me into playing darts from previous activities.

I can’t stress enough to you that when you start playing you need to think long-term whether you are going to be able to maintain that style of 1-5-10 years.

This is a cautionary tale as darts may appear to be a physically undemanding sport however the reality is actually far different.

The classic example is stance. Obviously leaning over makes logical sense as you are closer to the board, however you have to look at the pressure that is going to put on your back and hip when done for long periods of time.

When I started I adopted the Bobby George leaning over stance:

Now this is great for moving you closer to the board however at 16 stone (220 lbs) this played havoc with my back and right hip. After 1 hour of practice I was a mess. Now some of it is due to old injuries, however it is not a naturally comfortable position to adopt and hold and it caused me to have to take regular breaks from playing such was the discomfort after (it should be noted that Bobby George has actually had to have a hip replacement). 

Now this may not necessarily apply to you early on, however it will take its toll, and it may be an inopportune moment:

Picture the scene, it’s the first leg and I’m playing a blinder, hitting decent darts, not scoring below 60 and have hit a couple of 100’s. I’m on d16, and I outside wire 2 darts. The third I overextend and force it, it goes in but my back goes with it!  My right leg is now wobbly due to my back, and every time I throw I get a back spasm. Of course I lose the leg so now it’s the decider and I’m sweating buckets due to the pain. I’m frustrated with myself, however I win the bull and somehow manage to stay ahead, until stupidly I miscount and leave d16 again where I should have left d20. I do the usual

D16 –hit 16
D8 –hit 8
D4 –hit 4

And then

D2-hit 2

And then onto D1.

It then became a farce as my opponent had got into the match, but had equally messed his finishes up and was now on d1 himself.  It became the definition of bad pub darts as we both through pineapples at the board and missed about 30 darts at D1 before I hit it and won!

I could barely walk the next day and every time I tried to practice my back and hip killed me.  The end result is that I had to then take several weeks off of playing.

I struggled for the longest time to change my mindset on stance as whenever I tried to change it I was less effective as I was further away and this went with the path of least resistance.

The older I have got though, it has become more apparent that if I want to play this sport into an older age and what’s more take it to the next level I need to adopt a stance that will enable me to practice for long periods and play longer matches.

John Lowe told me a comfortable stance and clean release will keep your game good for decades and you only have to look at how good he still is at 70 odd to realise this.

I therefore decided to look at other players who stance isn’t as lean centric and you only have to look at the stance of:

Phil Taylor

John Part

Gary Anderson

Who have a combined 21 world titles between them to see that you don’t have to make yourself as close as possible (yes MVG at the moment is winning everything with this stance but at 27 he is already experiencing hip, wrist and back issues – and injury rather than an opponent may be what ends his run at the top) With that sorted I have had to look at my throw I was and still do get shoulder problems and  I have had many occasions whereby I haven’t been able to throw with any kind of accuracy whatsoever which can be both incredibly frustrating and disheartening.  

This has usually been the result of:

  •          Throwing to hard
  •         Over extending
  •         Ignoring fatigue
  •         Sloppy technique

I have found that for me it is far better to have 1 hour’s good quality practice than 3 hours rushing every dart at the board. For the longest time my form would dip after the first hour and this would lead to frustration and poor results. Stepping away is the hardest thing to do however you are getting NOTHING from 2 hours of practice if your arm is tired and your technique has gone! Building up stamina and taking my time is the key thing that I continually ignored and I have wasted hours and hours of my life practicing with zero benefit.

So the key thing is to not ignore pain and discomfort. This is one sport where it ISNT no pain no gain and for longevity it is important to absolutely minimise the wear and tear on your body.

Listen to your body, pay attention to any pain or discomfort and don’t be afraid to step away from the board when your body tells you (pain, loss of accuracy). 

Anyway I hope this helps guys


Monday, 20 March 2017

20/3/17: 180 with 16g brass

Hi guys

180 with brass 16g darts, medium nylons and standard flight flights

Interview with 3x World Champion, The Legendary 'Darth Maple' John Part

Hi Guys

The legendary 3x World Champion John Part took some time out of his insanely business travels schedule to do this interview with me.

John Part was the first oversees player to win the BDO World Championship, the first overseas player to win the PDC Championship, and the player responsible for halting Phil Taylor's incredible run of cosnecutive World Championships (1995-2002) in 2003.

It should also be noted that excluding Phil Taylor, Part is one of only 5 players to win the World Championship more than twice (the others being Bristow, Lowe, Van Barneveld and Martin Adams).

It is both my honor and privilege to bring you this interview:

Q1: You are a fan favourite and known as one of the most genuinely nice guys in the sport (who no one has had a bad word to say about).  This makes you an ideal role model and ambassador for both the game of darts and any company you are associated with. Starting out who did you look up to if anyone?

JP: Bob Sinnaeve was the marquee Canadian player of the 1980's and his efforts proved it was possible to compete with the big bad British. Bob Anderson epitomized the playing style I wanted to emulate and was closest to who I identified with as a player. 

Q2: You must literally have millions of air miles, do you ultimately think all the travel impacted on your performance and how did you manage to cram in practice (I’m sure Air Canada didn’t have dartboards up)?

JP: It's funny you only mention the air miles, because I have a very large amount of driving miles under my belt as well. There is no doubt travel has consumed and constituted a large portion of my darts efforts. I've tried to look at it as being like a trucker. You deliver goods, but only after putting in time on the road. Practice was done but certainly had to be sacrificed at times. 

Q3: An obvious one, but how often do you practice these days (and your routine) and has age affected your physicality to practice for a long duration?

JP: As a devout every day thrower for decades I have adjusted my philosophy to reflect my age and condition. Part of practice was about building confidence and I now have that because I feel I will be physically 100% and ready when I do play with practicing more intermittently. To date, I am quite pleased with the results since I changed my philosophy. I practice now mostly by playing against a friend. Sometimes now I just throw at treble 20s for a while, as I feel the scoring phase is a must to have a chance in today’s game, and I'm very confident finishing in any case.  

Q4: What was the first set of darts you owned and what weight were they?

JP: I believe the first set I purchased myself were by a small company called Cove and were 26, maybe 27 gm. A long tapered barrel which was the style that I adhered to for quite some time.

 Q5: You recently indicated a return to full-time competition and re-signed with Unicorn, when some had surmised a quiet slip into retirement, after missing your first World Championships in 23 years. What has been the catalyst for the change of heart?

JP: I didn't actually. I may play less, but with more purpose, less pressure, and an intent to inflict as much damage as possible. I'm delighted at winning a tour card and ensuring I can participate as I see fit. I burned out a bit trying to do it all, and I've learned from that. I still have something left.

 Q6: You showed your class with getting the Tour card the hard way, do you think there is any mileage in past world champions being given automatic tour card holders (as a mark of respect) by the PDC?

JP: No, I think its fine as it is. I do believe past World Champions should be invited to participate in the World Championship if they so desire. I always remember fondly watching the golf Masters, and seeing the great champions still get to participate, no matter how unlikely they would succeed. 

Q7: Darts for some reason doesn’t tend to honour its past greats in the manner as other sports and I’m surprised that the PDC hasn’t picked up the ‘League of legends’ television concept, since there is still a very clear demand to see the legends of darts (and I imagine this will only escalate when Taylor and Barney retire). Is this something you’d be interested in if the PDC went this route?

JP: I love playing and competing. Also, I'd love a chance to become a thorn in Phil's side once again, so sign me up.  

Q8: You have had an amazing career, and outside of your 4 Majors, over 40 (documented, so apologise if it’s more) other open or tournament wins. Other than your Majors what is your overall favourite win or most memorable performance (if you have one)?

JP: My most recent PDC win was the only U.K. euro tour event ever played. It was called the PDC U.K.Masters, and it was fully attended by the top of the World ranking table. I beat Kim Huybrechts, Gary Anderson, Mensur Suljovic, Simon Whitlock, Adrian Lewis and Stuart Kellett. Not too shabby, looking back now.  

Q9: You are considered in many circles to be the best commentator and pundit in the business. You also started very young, in 1995 when although a World Champion you were still quite new to the scene and in your twenties. Was this always something you always wanted to do and gravitated to?

JP: I watched plenty of sports growing up and had got to know all the various commentators and styles of the North American sports scene. I was very familiar with the formula for a good commentary team without ever imagining I would be one day doing it.To this day I'm critical or admiring of my fellow broadcasting professionals as I watch anything. With experience I have become much more respectful all-around of the profession.  

Q10: And lastly, what is a typical day in the life of Mr John Part these days?

JP: Isn't it strange that if you take the space out from between 'a' and 'typical'  that it has the opposite meaning? Most of my days consist of a plethora of these types of observations. Maybe it's because of the pot of black coffee that I start each day with. It goes from there.  

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Part for this opportunity and to wish him all the best in the future.


Friday, 17 March 2017

My Interview with the Legend and 1983 world champion Keith Deller

Hi Guys

It is my great honor and Privilege to bring you my interview with the Legend that is the 1983 Champion of the World, Mr Keith Deller:

Q1: I think that past Major winners should receive invites or wildcards to certain tournaments as there is still a massive audience for darting legends, do you agree?

KD: Not sure really. We have had our time and players should qualify on merit not getting picked because of selling a product.

Q2: Having met you at an event in Dorset in 2014 (with Bristow, Fordham, and Lowe) you came across as a terrific bloke and full of energy and still playing incredible darts. Free of the rigours of the tour’ do you feel that you could still compete today in certain events if given the opportunity?

KD: If I put 5 hours a day I think I could make top 40 but the standard now is great.

Q3: An obvious one, but how often do you practice these days and has age affected your physicality to practice for a long duration or is it purely other interests?

KD: Do not practice too much now but I still play at a decent standard.

Q4a: What was the first set of darts you owned and what weight were they?

KD: My first darts were 16 grams but not sure who made them.                                              

Q4b: What is your darts current setup, as they look very small and small pointed?

KD: my darts are made by my sponsors Target and our 21 grams.           
Q5: When and why did you start using chalk?

KD: I use chalk for grip and players moan sometimes. I started using chalk 25 years ago.    
Q6: Darts for some reason doesn’t tend to honour its past greats in the manner as other sports and I’m surprised that the PDC hasn’t picked up the ‘League of legends’ television concept, since there is still a very clear demand to see the legends of darts. Is this something you’d still be interested in if the opportunity arose?

KD: would love to have legends on tv and I think it would be well supported. I think Pdc have enough televised events so don't really need us.             
Q7: You had an amazing career, competing at the highest level for 25 years and were (and still are now) very young when you stepped away. What was the catalyst for stepping down whilst still very much being able to compete?

KD: when I had to wear glasses i never felt comfortable so I knew it was time to get out.       
Q8: You had a consistently high average in the 80’s (including the first 100 average on television) where looking back the staples on the board obscured about a quarter of the treble segment, this is why I have no doubt that the likes of yourself, Bristow, Jocky, and Anderson etc could compete today.  Obviously it was what you were used to back then, however I think it took more skill then to hit the treble, what do you think? and do you think players from the 80’s don’t get the credit vs current players (I myself use an old board with staples to practice as find it forces me to be more accurate, which is a benefit come match day and a ‘nice’ board)?

KD: I think our averages would have been higher if we played on the boards they use now. I don't think we get the credit we deserved but we all know we played a big part in the history of darts. 
Q9: Other than your famous World title win, in which as a qualifier you beat the world number 3,2 and 1 (a feat I don’t think will ever be achieved again)  what is your overall favourite win or most memorable performance (if you have one)

KD: To beat Eric Bristow to become World Champion could not get any better as he was World number1 at the time.            

Q10: Your win in 83 generated so much interest, as you were completely different to the other players in that era and what’s more that whole run you had will never be topped. You were undoubtedly an inspiration to a lot of kids who are probably playing in the BDO and PDC now as a result. Does it still rankle that this was never acknowledged with an MBE?

KD: I think in 83 I should have been rewarded with an MBE. Out of 60 million people, nearly 10 million watched our final. Since then I have Managed Adrian Lewis to 2 world championships.  John parrot got the MBE when he won his only world championship and his win was never as big as mine. Who knows one day the right people may look at it.      
Q11: And lastly, what is a typical day in the life of Mr Keith Deller these days?

KD: still playing exhibitions and also a lot of time managing Adrian. Play charity golf days so that is always enjoyable.   

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Keith for this interview and to wish him and his family all the best for the future

To catch-up on whats going on with Keith or book him for a (great) exhibition please visit  his website at:

Kind Regards


Monday, 13 March 2017

Martin Phillips takes the Isle of Man trophy 2017 and proves that age is just a number!

Hi Guys

I just wanted to say a BIG well done to Martin Phillips on winning the Isle of Man Open on Sunday 12th March 2017.

Phillips (56) a BDO stalwart since the 1980's beat another BDO legend and golden oldie Andy Fordham (55) in the tightly contested final 5-4.

Special props must go to both these men who showed that age is no barrier, as they emerged in the final despite a full BDO lineup of contenders, champions and former champions, with Phillips becoming the oldest man to lift the title in its history.

The importance of Focused Concentration!

Hi Guys

I want to address today the importance of focused concentration in darts.

By focus I’m talking about a ‘block all out, doesn’t matter if someone plays a trombone next to your head’ kind of tunnel vision.

This is really important. I have been guilty of losing focus so many times that’s its cost me matches. 

Someone coughs, a rogue cheer, a spilled pint, a random thought, all these can momentarily cause you to lose concentration and that’s the difference between hitting the desired segment or the scoreboard.

No joke I was once playing In a pub where the board was adjacent to a number of windows, and just as I was about to release the dart this hand waving came right out in front of me as someone waved to their friend walking past outside. 


My dart literally went about a foot to the left of the board, as I tried to avoid impaling there hand. I was furious, they were apologetic but it totally blew my concentration. 

Fuming, I was totally ‘gone’ and lost the match as I was launching the darts like I was trying to kill the board. 


So what did I achieve by losing my rag???

Nothing, other than a loss!

Whether you are a pub player or a PDC pro, concentration is everything. It doesn’t matter how many 180’s you can hit in your spare bedroom, on a Thursday night in complete peace and quiet. If you can’t do it against a background of noise it’s no good.

A really good technique I have used is to put on darts matches when I’m playing (you can use anything, football etc) and to try and totally block it completely out when I play (to the point I couldn’t even tell you whose playing).

Also remember that when practicing remember to focus and concentrate on each throw. If the first dart goes in 1, re-focus! Don’t just throw the other 2 and wait till you’ve got all 3 again.  Always remember you have 3 darts and if your first 2 land in the 1, remember that you can still hit t20 and score 62.  

I have seen so many players in matches (myself included) hit 2 awful first darts and then launch the third in temper, whereas a step back, deep breath and re-focus could have seen a salvage of that throw.  Never waste any darts, it’s not about the first 2 (unless it’s a double).

Take Care


Als Bar 'B' End of Fareham Darts league 2016/17 Winter Season review

Hi Guys

Unfortunately i missed the last game of the season through illness, however i am pleased to report that the Al's Bar 'B' team finished a very respectable 4th in the League and 6 points ahead of our rivals.

I cant really comment on a lot of the season as i wasn't present (tho did contribute to their last win) however given that the previous 2015/16  Winter season we finished bottom with only 2 wins and this season we won 8 and only missed 3rd by 2 points it is a vast improvement.

It should also be noted we lost 2 close matches 5-4 against the Jolly Miller  (2nd)  and 1 versus the Delme Arms (3rd) which if results had gone the over way would have seen the team finish second.

World Watch: Rob Cross - This guy is gonna make waves in 2017/18

Hi Guys

Firstly i wanted to say a BIG 'WELL DONE' to Rob Cross who took the 2017 PDPA Players Championship 3 in Barnsley on the 11/3/2017.

Cross took out former BDO World Championship finalist Alan Norris, former BDO World Championship Richie Burnett and the Legendary 5x World Champion Raymond Van Barneveld  on his way to the final before taking out the highly experienced Mervyn King in the final 6-5.

Cross who burst onto the scene in late 2015 and is a 2 year Tour Card Holder had a storming 2016 winning 3 PDC Challenge Tour events and in winning this event will no doubt be one to watch.