Some dart players in England think throwing darts can get
boring, so they take some six inch nails and use them instead. Joe
Hitchcock used to love to beat "the champs" in this fashion. One
of his favourite tricks was to "nail" a button from between
someone's outstretched fingers.
The late Jim Pike, a darts legend in England before most of us
even threw one, was such a marksman that he could shoot a
cigarette from someone's mouth with a dart - AND STICK IT IN ANY
The best flights in the world are made from turkey feathers.
So who's the "turkey" now?
The average speed of a dart hitting a board is around 64kph
London, 1937. The late and great Jim Pike went around the
board on doubles, retrieving his own darts, in the time of 3
minutes 30 seconds. He did this shooting from a distance of 9
Can you score more than 180 with 3 darts? - Turn 16 to the top
of the board and it becomes 91. Three triples give you 819.
There are more pubs with dartboards in the center of New York
than there are in the center of London.
Years ago dartboards were made from elm wood. The numbers and
wedges had to be carefully painted on and the spider (wires) had
as many as 100 staples holding it to the board. To keep it from
cracking, the careful pub owner would soak in a bucket of water or
spillage from the beer taps over night. This activity spawned the
popular misconception that soaking a loose dartboard in water will
prevent darts from falling out. While this is true it will also
considerably shorten the life of the board. The boards we use are
made of tightly packed fibres of hemp or sisal. When these are
moistened, they swell and will invariably bulge, causing the
fibres to fall out. The best way is to let natural moisture in the
air tighten the board for you. This, however, can take some time.
If you've got a really bad board, steam it gently or hang a
moistened rag over it to let it "breathe" the moisture slowly.
At an exhibition match at the Gipsy Stadium, in England, in
July 1977, Muhammed Ali faced former Welsh champ Alan Evans. With
Evans scoring only on triples, Ali won hitting a bullseye on the
way out and immediately proclaimed himself darts champion of the
On February 21st., 1989, at Buckingham Palace, London, Eric
Bristow became the first dart player to receive the coveted Member
of the British Empire award (M.B.E.). Mr. Bristow admitted he was
nervous meeting the queen, saying, "It was more nerve-racking than
any TV final." This gives him the right to have the letters M.B.E.
present after his name.
We've all heard of people playing darts for money or a beer,
but this tale's got a different twist. It's a known fact that
singers Tom Jones and Englebert Humperdinck are old friends and
like to play darts. When on tour they've been known to appear at
various pubs all over the world looking for a game. During the
1970s, they purchased a 3,000-acre ranch and settled for the
fishing rights by playing a game of darts. Just for the record,
Scotland's No. 1, Jocky Wilson hit a 24-dart 1001 leg against
American Bud Trumbower in March of 1987, at Eastgate U.S. Marine
Base in England: 180-140-140-140-81-100-100-120. Jocky scored an
incredible 600 points in his first 12 arrows and capped the leg
with a fine 60-20-40 game shot to average 41.7 points per dart.
On November 11, 1975 at the Broomfield WMC in Devon, England,
international star Cliff Inglis tossed a magnificent 19-dart 1001
game, smashing all previous records to date:
160-180-140-180-121-180-40. Cliff averaged an unbelievable 52.68
points per dart despite getting lucky with his first dart, hitting
a D20 instead of the triple.
All-County Welshman Leighton Rees, on December 18, 1976,
finished a game of 3001 in 141 darts, connecting on only the
single and double bulls and closing with a double bull. Leighton
converted 34 double bulls and 52 bulls while just 55 darts went
astray during this epic leg.
Tony Elleson, at the Now Inn Crumlin in Gwent, England, scored
a perfect double start/double finish 301 game in June of 1987.
While not so unusual in his feat perhaps, but after his first
throw he broke a shaft retrieving his darts and literally had to
sit down for five minutes and dig out the remains before finishing
his game. Certainly the stoppage of play did not affect his
On June 19,1987 at the Fishing Boat Inn in Northumberland,
shooter Tab Hunter (no, not the movie star!) recorded a brilliant
23 dart 1001 leg: 100-180-140-125-140-100-140-76. He averaged a
fine 43.5 points per dart, ending the final 76 in two.
Duncan Swift, playing out of the Felilxstowe Dock Sports and
Social Club, Surrey, scored 493,470 points to capture the 24 hour
solo record in May of 1987. While shooting and retrieving the
darts himself, Duncan hit an incredible 123 180s, 643 140s and
used a total of 18,369 darts for a fabulous 26.86 points per dart
In April of 1988, Stephen Wagg set the 12 hour solo record for
scoring double and single bulls at the Thorncliff Cricket and
Social Club in Sheffield, England. Stephen registered 961 double
bulls and 3,335 single bulls for a score of 131,425. He tossed a
grand total of 9,714 darts for a 13.52 per dart average.
An eight-hour record for scoring bulls and double bulls was
set by Birmingham players George Perry and Tony Hodgkiss at The
Seventh Trap Public House in December of 1987. The two, averaging
16.19 per dart, hit 1,406 double bulls and 4,247 single bulls for
a total of 176,475 points, breaking the old record of 1,048 double
bulls and 3,308 single bulls.
In June of 1978, All-World John Lowe captured a 1001 leg in 22
darts: 140-180-140-100-140-140-125-D18. John averaged 137 per
throw or a grand 45.6 per dart en route to this memorable game.
Pat Irwin of the Mitre hotel, playing in a double start/double
finish 501 match, hit a 170 in (Dbull-60-60) and a 170 out
(60-60-Dbull) in the same leg, in April of 1987.
In a special pairs 3001 challenge match against Steve Brown
and Gene Raymond, London county leaguers Reg Harding and Dave Lee
slugged an 86 darter, just 11 darts short of the world record:
The pair hit 3 maximums en route to a 34.8 per dart average over
the course of the challenge.
Probably the most notable individual effort occurred on
October 13, 1984 in the quarter-finals of the MFI World Matchplay
Championships. The match featured British stars John Lowe and
Keith Deller with Lowe hitting the first televised nine-dart
perfect 501 game in the history of the sport. For the record he
went: 180-180-141 and collected (eventually) a cheque for 102,000
pounds for his efforts. (Ironically, due to complex tax laws, Lowe
could not pocket a penny from the jackpot until two years later,
as the currency sat in a British bank waiting for final approval.)
Paul Lim of San Bernadino, Calif. threw a perfect 9-dart 501
leg at the 1990 Embassy World Championships. Because he did it
before the TV cameras he received 52,000 British pounds ($88,000
US) for his remarkable achievement
Big Cliff Lazarenko fired his first 9-dart perfect 501 game at
an exhibition at the Aberlynon Leisure Centre. Using 25-gram
titanium tungsten darts, he threw two 180s and a T20, T19, D12 for
the 141 out in the last match of the night.
In the most perfect of perfect 501 games, Roy Blowies, playing
at the Widgeon's Pubin Calgary, Alberta, Canada in late 1989
achieved his 9-darter by doubling in on the bullseye first. He
scored 161(dBull-T20-T17), 180, 160(T20-T20-D20).
"I know darts stories can rival fishermans' for size,
speed and accuracy, but here is one that actually happened to
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 gramme 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
1901 was the first recorded reference to the game that we
Legend has it that the Pilgrim Fathers played a form of darts,
and Edmond Carl Hady of Pennsylvania states that they played
'butts' - throwing short arrows into the butt of a wine cask.
In 1896 Brian Gamlin from Lancashire designed the current
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 1908 in Portsmouth, three beer crates from S. Hockey &
Sons were put end to end (9 feet) to mark the throwing line hence
'Toe the Hockey'. In 1911 Petrie Brewers took over Hockeys, and
new crates of 2 feet were introduces. Four of these gave a throw
of 8 feet.
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
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