If I wasn’t a dart player id be … Retired!
A spot of history
I have been a professional darts player since 1991 when I won the first of my two world titles. Previous to that I ran my own coal merchant company delivering coal to the South Yorkshire area for over 20 years. At the time of winning the World Champs in 1991 I was also running a local Newsagents.
When I won the title I was 40 years old and thought this was as good an opportunity to turn professional and see what happened. I said to my friends and family if I got 10 years from the game from that point I would be happy. Now here I am 20 years later still battling on!
I went on to win quite a number of tournaments in the next couple of years up until the split from the BDO. This couldn’t have come at a worse time personally for myself as I had just been named captain of the England team. I have the unfortunate stats of been the only England captain never to actual captain the country in a fixture! If this is the price I had to pay to help create the PDC and be a major reason for its success over the years then who am I to complain!
I then went on to win the first ever PDC World Darts Championship in 1994, beating Phil Taylor in the final 6-1. To be honest when I entered this tournament I was in shocking form but knew if I could get my eye in I would only get better and my competitive spirit could carry me through. I am very proud of the fact that I am the inaugural winner of this tournament and no one can take that away from me. I am also the only player to win both world titles at the 1st attempt. So not bad for a coal man from Mexborough!
I would like to say that from this point forth I went on to win many other world titles. But as we all know one man seemed to stand in my way. I have lost count of the amount of finals that I lost to Phil Taylor over the years but I couldn’t have lost to a a better player. In my eyes Phil is up there with some of the greatest sports stars of our generation Jack Nicklaus, Tony McCoy, Stephen Hendry and Roger Federer. These are all multiple major winners but get a lot more respect than what Phil ever has. Obviously this is down to the reputation that darts has gained over the years. Recently this has changed and this is down to the work of the PDC and Sky in making darts one the most exciting sports to watch.
Even though I never added another world title to my list of achievements I still went on to win things and compete at the highest level. If you take a look at the achievements page on the website you can see all the things I have managed to win during my career.