John Lowe

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This article is about the darts player. For other uses, see John Lowe (disambiguation).
John Lowe
Lowe, John.jpg
Personal information
Nickname Old Stoneface
Born (1945-07-21) 21 July 1945 (age 69)
New Tupton, Derbyshire, England
Home town Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Darts information
Playing darts since 1966
Darts 21g Unicorn World Champion Golden John Lowe
Laterality Right-handed
Walk-on music Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin
Organisation (see split in darts)
BDO 1976–1993
PDC 1993–2007 (Founding Member)
BDO majors - best performances
World Ch'ship Winner 1979, 1987, 1993
World Masters Winner 1976, 1980
PDC premier events - best performances
World Ch'ship Semi-Final: 1995, 1996
World Matchplay Semi-Final: 1995, 2002
World Grand Prix Semi-Final: 2001
UK Open Last 16: 2005
Other tournament wins
Tournament Years
Australian Grand Masters
Autumn Gold Cider Masters
British Gold Cup
British Open
British Pentathlon
Canadian Open
Denmark Open
Dry Blackthorn Cider Masters
Finnish Open
MFI World Pairs
North American Open
WDF Europe Cup Pairs
WDF World Cup Pairs


1978, 1979, 1982
1977, 1988
1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987
1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984
1978, 1979, 1982
1978, 1985
Other achievements

1984 – First televised nine-dart finish

1986 to 1993 – England Captain (unbeaten)
Updated on 11 February 2008.

John Lowe (born 21 July 1945) is a former English professional darts player who was one of the most skilled and best known darts players during the 1970s and 1980s, particularly in the United Kingdom. Lowe is one of only six players to have won the World Championship three times, having done so in 1979, 1987, and 1993. The first player to win the World Championship in three separate decades, Lowe's titles and achievements span a career of almost forty years, but he is also most well known for being the first player to hit a televised nine dart finish (in 1984).


Lowe won the World Championship title in three different decades – 1979, 1987 and 1993. Although regarded as the gentleman of the game, he was in the shadow of Eric Bristow in the early days of darts' rise to prominence – in terms of results and charisma. He met Bristow six times in the World Championship in various semi-finals and finals and it was not until his fourth attempt (in the 1987 final) that he managed to overcome his great rival. His record against the "Crafty Cockney" in majors was three wins and six defeats.[1]

Lowe achieved the ultimate feat in darts on 13 October 1984 during the World Matchplay tournament against Keith Deller when he managed a nine dart finish – the sport's equivalent of a hole-in-one in golf or a 147 break in snooker. This was the first time this had ever been accomplished by any darts player while being televised. For this, Lowe won £102,000. He went on to clinch the tournament.

In addition to his three world titles, Lowe has also won two World Masters titles, two British Open titles, two British Matchplay championships, two World Cup Singles and three European Cup Singles Titles, as well as countless other titles around the world in a hugely successful career. He played for England over 100 times and was captain for seven years, during which time his team were unbeaten.

He also gained credit for his decorum and sportsmanship at the oche, often in notable contrast to the gifted but arrogant Bristow. He was also probably unique in darts in that he looked after his health, never developing the weight difficulties associated with darts players, though he did consume alcohol onstage with the others when it was still permitted during matches.

Nicknames were all the rage in darts, but Lowe never really had one which caught on. A studious, composed performer, he didn't have anything which stood out in his demeanour or personality – until someone decided to use these very traits to come up with a soubriquet of Old Stoneface. This is also the title of Lowe's autobiography which was published in 2005.

Lowe has enjoyed a longevity at the sport that is currently unmatched. He played in the televised stages of the World Championship for a record 28 consecutive years from the inaugural championship in 1978 to his last appearance in 2005 where he was defeated by the Canadian John Verwey in a last leg tie-break.

He was secretary of the World Professional Dart Players Association (later to become the Professional Dart Players Association (PDPA)) and in 2005 enjoyed a testimonial year in the sport to commemorate his 30th year as a professional. He still attempted to qualify for the World Championship each year until 2008, but fell short in the early qualifying rounds. After joining a short-lived venture, the Setanta Sports televised BetFred League of Legends in 2008, Lowe became ineligible to compete at the PDC World Championship so could not attempt to qualify for the 2009 event.

In May 2009 Lowe released a book entitled The Art of Darts, in which he offered his personal insights into the game to both amateur and aspiring professional dart players.[2] In 2013 The Art of Darts was produced in app form for the Apple iPhone and iPad, it is a 45 minutes master class containing coaching and tips from John.

Lowe is currently planning an exhibition tour of the United States in November and December 2011, with possible stops including Boston, New York and Las Vegas.[3]

In 2014 John Lowe was one of several celebrities to take part in ITV new gameshow Amazing Greys. In which members of the public take on icons of British Sport and Entertainment.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Lowe was born in New Tupton, Derbyshire. He is married to Karen and lives in Chesterfield, from where they both support Sunderland.[5]

World Championship Results[edit]


  • 1978: Runner Up (lost to Leighton Rees 7–11 legs)
  • 1979: Winner (beat Leighton Rees 5–0 sets)
  • 1980: 2nd Round (lost to Cliff Lazarenko 0–2)
  • 1981: Runner Up (lost to Eric Bristow 3–5)
  • 1982: Runner Up (lost to Jocky Wilson 3–5)
  • 1983: Quarter-Finals (lost to Keith Deller 3–4)
  • 1984: Semi-Finals (lost to Eric Bristow 0–6)
  • 1985: Runner Up (lost to Eric Bristow 2–6)
  • 1986: Quarter-Finals (lost to Bob Anderson 3–4)
  • 1987: Winner (beat Eric Bristow 6–4)
  • 1988: Runner Up (lost to Bob Anderson 4–6)
  • 1989: Semi-Finals (lost to Eric Bristow 1–5)
  • 1990: 2nd Round (lost Ronnie Sharp 2–3)
  • 1991: 1st Round (lost to Peter Evison 2–3)
  • 1992: Semi-Finals (lost to Phil Taylor 4–5)
  • 1993: Winner (beat Alan Warriner-Little 6–3)


  • 1994: Last 24 Group (beat Tom Kirby 3–2 & (lost to Larry Butler 2–3)
  • 1995: Semi-Finals (lost to Phil Taylor 4–5)
  • 1996: Semi-Finals (lost to Phil Taylor 1–5)
  • 1997: Last 24 Group (lost to Jamie Harvey 2–3) & (beat Paul Lim 3–1)
  • 1998: Last 24 Group (lost to Peter Manley 0–3) & (lost to Gary Mawson 0–3)
  • 1999: 2nd Round (lost to Phil Taylor 1–3)
  • 2000: Quarter-Finals (lost to Dennis Smith 3–5)
  • 2001: 2nd Round (lost to Jamie Harvey 0–3)
  • 2002: 2nd Round (lost to Peter Manley 5–6)
  • 2003: 2nd Round (lost to Les Fitton 1–4)
  • 2004: 3rd Round (lost to Alan Warriner-Little 3–4)
  • 2005: 2nd Round (lost to John Verwey 2–3)

Career finals[edit]

BDO major finals: 26 (10 titles, 16 runner-ups)[edit]

World Championship (3–5)
Winmau World Masters (2–3)
British Professional Championship (0–4)
World Matchplay (1–1)
Grand Masters (1–2)
British Matchplay (2–1)
News of the World (1–0)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score[N 1]
Winner 1. 1976 Winmau World Masters (1) Wales Phil Obbard 3–0 (s)
Winner 2. 1977 Butlins Grand Masters (1) Wales Eric Bristow 5–4 (s)
Runner-up 1. 1978 World Darts Championship Wales Leighton Rees 7–11 (l)
Winner 3. 1978 British Matchplay (1) England Tony Brown 2–1 (s)
Runner-up 2. 1978 Butlins Grand Masters Wales Leighton Rees unknown
Winner 4. 1979 World Darts Championship (1) Wales Leighton Rees 5–0 (s)
Winner 5. 1980 Winmau World Masters (2) Scotland Rab Smith 2–0 (s)
Runner-up 3. 1981 World Darts Championship (2) England Eric Bristow 3–5 (s)
Winner 6. 1981 News of the World Championship (1) England Mick Norris 2–0 (l)
Runner-up 4. 1981 Butlins Grand Masters (2) England Eric Bristow unknown
Runner-up 5. 1981 British Professional Championship Scotland Jocky Wilson 5–6 (s)
Runner-up 6. 1981 Winmau World Masters England Eric Bristow 1–2 (s)
Runner-up 7. 1982 World Darts Championship Scotland Jocky Wilson 3–5 (s)
Runner-up 8. 1982 British Professional Championship (2) England Eric Bristow 3–7 (s)
Winner 7. 1984 World Matchplay (1) England Cliff Lazarenko 5–3 (s)
Runner-up 9. 1984 British Professional Championship (3) England Mike Gregory 5–7 (s)
Runner-up 10. 1985 World Darts Championship (4) England Eric Bristow 2–6 (s)
Winner 8. 1985 British Matchplay (2) England Cliff Lazarenko 3–0 (s)
Runner-up 11. 1985 British Professional Championship (4) England Eric Bristow 4–7 (s)
Winner 9. 1987 World Darts Championship (2) England Eric Bristow 6–4 (s)
Runner-up 12. 1987 World Matchplay England Bob Anderson 1–5 (s)
Runner-up 13. 1987 Winmau World Masters (2) England Bob Anderson 1–3 (s)
Runner-up 14. 1988 World Darts Championship (5) England Bob Anderson 4–6 (s)
Runner-up 15. 1988 British Matchplay England Bob Anderson 2–3 (s)
Runner-up 16. 1988 Winmau World Masters (3) England Bob Anderson 2–3 (s)
Winner 10. 1993 World Darts Championship (3) England Alan Warriner-Little 6–3 (s)
  1. ^ (l) = score in legs, (s) = score in sets.

WDF major finals: 6 (5 titles, 1 runner-up)[edit]

World Cup (2–0)
Europe Cup (3–1)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 1978 Europe Cup Singles (1) Scotland Jocky Wilson 4–1 (s)
Winner 2. 1981 World Cup Singles (1) Scotland Jocky Wilson 4–3 (s)
Winner 3. 1984 Europe Cup Singles (2) Wales Leighton Rees 4–0 (s)
Winner 4. 1986 Europe Cup Singles (3) England Cliff Lazarenko 4–2 (s)
Winner 5. 1991 World Cup Singles (2) Wales Martin Phillips 6–4 (s)
Runner-up 1. 1992 Europe Cup Singles England Phil Taylor 2–4 (s)

Nine-dart finishes[edit]

John Lowe hit the first ever televised nine dart finish. This nine dart finish was not broadcast live.

John Lowe televised nine-dart finishes
Date Opponent Tournament Method Prize
13 October 1984 England Keith Deller World Matchplay 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T17, T18, D18 £102,000


  1. ^ Lowe v Bristow head-to-head
  2. ^ "The Art of Darts". Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Lowe, John. "America hereI Come". Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Legends of Darts Shop (Powered by CubeCart)

External links[edit]