I have always been fascinated by the News Of The World Championship. For me it was actually the ‘unofficial’ World Championship and it was the longest serving darts championship having ran for over 40 years since the 1940’s.
It was the Championship that every player wanted to win and was the first and for a period the only darts championship on television.
The rules were it was a best of 3 legs only from 8ft, so you can Imagine how hard it was to win. In-fact there were so many games to play before you reached the final starting at Pub level that you could have 60+ matches over the course of the year.
Some of the pioneers of darts and legends won the trophy include:
Bobby George x2
Eric Bristow x2
Mike Gregory x2
Stefan Lord x 2
Phil Taylor x 1
Dave Whitcombe x2
Thanks to www.dartsnutz.net forum member Richard, I have tracked down the last winner of the original News Of The World Championship Paul Cook,, who won the trophy in 1990.
The championship was resurrected in 1997 however many felt it was brought back to allow Phil Taylor the opportunity to win it, and it was abandoned in 1998 after Taylor won it.
I can’t stress enough how hard it was to win this Championship, and many Legends never managed it including
Alan Evans – who lost the final in 1972
Leighton Rees - who lost the final in 1976
Alan Glazier – who lost the final in 1979
Dennis Priestley – who lost the final in 1989
Paul Cook, now in his 60’s and still I hear a helluva player took the time to answer some questions and it is my great pleasure to bring you it below.
Q1: You won what was considered at the time to be the last ever News Of The World champion in 1990. Memories of that incredible achievement?
PC: my memories of that day I won News Of The World was the support i got from Eric Bristow and is info on how to win News Of The World.
Q2: You seemed to disappear from darts after that, did you try to qualify for the Bdo or Pdc majors on this time?
PC: I played in all the WDC ranking comps from 1994 to 1996 my best ranking was 27 . i played in 2 world matchplay’s at Blackpool and played in world pairs with Dennis Smith reaching quarter finals
Q3. What darts do you, did you used to use?
PC: I have only played with 1 set of darts which i still play with now 22gm
Q4: You have popped up at alot of various tournaments over the years, was it ever an ambition to go pro?
PC: no ambition to turn pro but if i could of got sponsership i may had a go
Q5: Do you still play regularly these days and if so how much do you practice?
PC: still play 3 nights a week but i never have been a big practicer
Q6: Did you ever get to play the likes of Jocky Wilson and Bristow and memories of those matches?
PC: Great memories of both these great players I played Eric the week before I won News Of The World Championship in Weston supermare . The Yorkshire board comp beating him 3-0 then a challenge math after comp for a year’s supply of beer I won that 3-0. It was mentioned on the day of News Of The World final between us. . I played jockey a few times and was always well beaten . Still got some medals he gave me
I would just like to take the time to thank Paul for answering these questions