The Indoor League

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The Indoor League was a pub games competition series that was produced by Yorkshire Television and aired from 1972 until 1977. The programme was hosted by England cricketer Fred Trueman. The first series (1972) competition was first transmitted by ITV on Thursday 5 April 1973 at 1 pm and ran for the following 6 weeks. The TV Times magazine dated 31 March 1973 contains a one-and-a-half-page editorial on featuring darting legend Tom Barrett. most of the competitions were filmed the previous year before transmission due to various edits that were made to the programmes. From series 2 onwards the Indoor League made their various competitions open to International competitors, and they played for the Indoor League World Championships.

Trueman often wore a cardigan whilst smoking a pipe throughout his links. He always ended the show with the phrase, "ah'll see thee".

The show featured many indoor games, the majority of which were pub games, each of which had a prize of £100 for the competition winners. The sports included darts, pool, bar billiards, bar skittles, table football (a.k.a. foosball), arm wrestling and shove ha'penny amongst others. Among the commentators was Dave Lanning and Keith Macklin.

The Indoor League was created by Sid Waddell[1], who also produced the series from 1972 to 1976. Darts coverage on television was in its infancy, with the News of the World Darts Championship having just begun to be broadcast on ITV in 1972. Waddell would later go on to become one of the voices of darts on television when the World Championship was created in 1978.

In the first series all dart matches were played on a Yorkshire dartboard that does not have any treble scoring segments. The competition was restricted to players form within the Yorkshire TV region, but due to the programme's success from the second series onwards the men's and ladies' darts competition was open to all players from around the globe and they played for the Indoor League World Darts Championships. In the final series there was also an International mixed darts tournament. The winner of the first competition received £100 with the runner-up getting £50.

From the 1974 Season onwards the winner of the mens darts tournament qualified for the BDO World Masters the following year

The first two series of The Indoor League have been released on DVD, remastered by Network on Air and all available episodes were shown on UK TV in 2017 and 2018 on the TV Channel FrontRunner.

Season air dates[edit]

Season Tournament Year From To Episodes
1 1972 5 April 1973 10 May 1973 6
2 1973 27 September 1973 11 April 1974 13
3 1974 8 January 1975 2 April 1975 12
4 1975 1 January 1976 25 March 1976 15
5 1976 7 Feb 1977 (regions)
10 Feb 1977 (Yorkshire TV)
2 May 1977 (regions)
5 May 1977 (Yorkshire TV)
13
6 1977 9 January 1978 7 April 1978 13

According to the ITV listing magazine at the time 'TV Times' the Indoor League programmes were shown by the different ITV regions at different days and times of the week across their schedules. Some ITV regions showed an episode of the programme one or more week later then other ITV regions.

The details above are taken from the ITV listing magazine TV Times.

Darts tournament winners[edit]

The Indoor League Men's Darts Championships[edit]

The Indoor League Ladies Darts Championships[edit]

The Indoor League Mixed Pairs Darts World Championship[edit]

1972 Indoor League Mens Darts Results[edit]

1st Round
Best of 3 Legs
Quarter Finals
Best of 3 Legs
Semi-finals
Best of 3 Legs
Final
Best of 3 Legs
                       
England Ballam Bolton on Dearne 2
England Sykes Huddersfield
England Ballam Bolton on Dearne
England Colin Minton Easingwold 2
England England Barnsley
England Colin Minton Easingwold 2
England Colin Minton Easingwold 2
England Gerry Haywood Dewsbury 1
England Twigg Sheffield
England Gerry Haywood Dewsbury 2
England Gerry Haywood Dewsbury 2
England Graham Elvidge Scarborough
England Dodds Conisbrough
England Graham Elvidge Scarborough 2
England Colin Minton Easingwold 2
England Charles Ellis Bradford 0
England John Walker Hull 2
England Hornby Upton, Lincs
England John Walker Hull 2
England Keith Naylor Scunthorpe 1
England Bob Crosland Knottingley 1
England Keith Naylor Scunthorpe 2
England John Walker Hull 0
England Charles Ellis Bradford 2
England McDonald Wombwell
England Les Mills Hull 2
England Les Mills Hull 1
England Charles Ellis Bradford 2
England Reid Hull
England Charles Ellis Bradford 2

All matches were played on a Yorkshire dartboard that does not have any treble scoring segments. The 1972 dart tournament was limited to players within the Yorkshire TV region.

The winner received £100 and the runner up £50.

There was no ladies dart tournament in 1972.

Only the final, two semi-finals and two of the quarter finals were transmitted during the 1972 series of six episodes.

1973 Indoor League Mens Darts Results[edit]

1st Round
Best of 3 Legs
Quarter Finals
Best of 3 Legs
Semi-finals
Best of 3 Legs
Final
Best of 3 Legs
                       
1 Republic of IrelandTommy O'Regan 2
Unknown
Republic of IrelandTommy O'Regan 2
EnglandFrank Crolla 0
EnglandFrank Crolla 2
EnglandIvor Hodgkinson 1
Republic of IrelandTommy O'Regan 2
EnglandDes Stabb 0
EnglandDes Stabb 2
EnglandWillie Ethrington 1
EnglandDes Stabb 2
EnglandRon Church 1
EnglandRon Church 2
EnglandCharlie Ellis 1
Republic of IrelandTommy O'Regan 2
WalesAlan Evans 0
WalesTony Riddler 2
Unknown
WalesTony Riddler 2
EnglandColin Minton 1
EnglandColin Minton 2
Unknown 0
WalesTony Riddler 1
WalesAlan Evans 2
ScotlandBob Whyte 2
Unknown 0
ScotlandBob Whyte 0
WalesAlan Evans 2
Unknown
WalesAlan Evans 2

Alan Evans, in his semi final match against Tony Ridler became the male player to score a 180 on TV. In the same game Tony Riddler also scored a 180 in the second leg.

The current News of the World Darts Championship winner Ivor Hodgkinson entered the tournament but was beaten in the first round by Frank Crolla.

The tournament featured several internationally capped darts players. Winner O'Regan played for both England and Ireland before becoming captain of Ireland. Willie Ethrington, Ron Church and Des Stabb represented England, Bob Whyte represented Scotland and Alan Evans and Tony Riddler played for Wales.

1974 Indoor League Mens Darts Championship Results[edit]

1st Round
Best of 3 Legs
Quarter Finals
Best of 3 Legs
Semi-finals
Best of 3 Legs
Final
Best of 3 Legs
                       
England Des Stabb 0
Wales Leighton Rees 2
Wales Leighton Rees 2
Scotland Tom Brown 0
Scotland Tom Brown 2
England Alan Glazier 1
Wales Leighton Rees 2
England Ivor Hodgkinson 0
Sweden Stefan Lord 2
Republic of Ireland Pat Mullings 0
Sweden Stefan Lord 0
England Ivor Hodgkinson 2
England John Craine 1
England Ivor Hodgkinson 2
Wales Leighton Rees 2
Wales Alan Evans
England Joe Matthews 0
England Willie Etherington 2
England Willie Etherington 1
Wales Alan Evans 2
England Frank Brown 1
Wales Alan Evans 2
Wales Alan Evans 2
Republic of Ireland Tommy O'Regan
England Peter Chapman 2
Wales Steve Rollings 0
England Peter Chapman 0
Republic of Ireland Tommy O'Regan 2
Republic of Ireland Tommy O'Regan 2
England Doug Priestner 1

Doug Priestner, hit a 180 with his first three darts in the competition.

1975 Indoor League Mens Darts Championship Results[edit]

1st Round
Best of 3 Legs
Quarter Finals
Best of 3 Legs
Semi-finals
Best of 3 Legs
Final
Best of 3 Legs
                       
United States Conrad Daniels 2
Wales Tony Ridler
United States Conrad Daniels 2
England Peter Hobson
England Peter Hobson 2
England Doug Priestner
United States Conrad Daniels 2
Wales Phil Obbard
Wales Leighton Rees 2
England Dave 'Chalie' White
Wales Leighton Rees
Wales Phil Obbard 2
Wales Phil Obbard 2
Unknown
United States Conrad Daniels 2
England Cliff Inglis
England Cliff Inglis 2
England Willie Etherington
England Cliff Inglis 2
Scotland Harry Heaman
Scotland Harry Heaman 2
Belgium Andre DeClerqe
England Cliff Inglis 2
England Alan Glazier
Wales Alan Evans
England Alan Glazier 2
England Alan Glazier 2
England Peter Chapman
Republic of Ireland Tommy O'Regan
England Peter Chapman 2

For the second year running Doug Priestner, hit a 180 with his first three darts in the competition. Cliff Inglis, hit back-to-back 180s in one of his matches.

1976 Indoor League Mens Darts World Championship Results[edit]

1st Round
Best of 3 Legs
Quarter Finals
Best of 3 Legs
Semi-finals
Best of 5 Legs
Final
Best of 5 Legs
                       
England Charlie Elixx 2
Scotland Willie Scott 0
England Charlie Ellix 2
England John Lowe 1
England John Lowe 2
England Peter Chapman 1
England Charlie Ellix 3
England Eric Bristow 2
Sweden Stefan Lord 2
England Ken Brown
Sweden Stefan Lord 1
England Eric Bristow 2
England Eric Bristow 2
England Alan Glazier 1
England Charlie Ellix 0
Wales Leighton Rees 3
Wales Leighton Rees 2
Wales Phil Obbard 0
Wales Leighton Rees 2
England Cliff Lazarenko 0
England Cliff Lazarenko 2
England Brian Vaux 0
Wales Leighton Rees 3
United States Conrad Daniels 2
United States Conrad Daniels 2
England John Stanton 0
United States Conrad Daniels 2
England Cyril Hayes
England Bill Lennard 1
England Cyril Hayes 2

In the 1976 Indoor League mens darts World Championship players were redrawn after each round. And the draw above reflects this.

1976 Indoor League Ladies Darts World Championship Results[edit]

1st Round
Best of 3 Legs
Quarter Finals
Best of 3 Legs
Semi-finals
Best of 3 Legs
Final
Best of 3 Legs
                       
England Jean Dickinson 2
England Susie Robertshaw 0
England Jean Dickinson 2
England Pat Piper 0
England Pat Piper 2
England Pam Langridge 0
England Jean Dickinson 2
England Maureen Flowers 1
England Maureen Flowers 2
England Cathy Wardell 0
England Maureen Flowers 2
England Loveday King 1
England Loveday King 2
Sweden Eva Johansson 1
England Jean Dickinson 2
England Margaret Lally 0
England Brenda Simpson 2
Wales Ceiwen Potter
England Brenda Simpson 0
Wales Sandra Gibb 2
Wales Sandra Gibb 2
England Molly Gregory 0
Wales Sandra Gibb 0
England Margaret Lally 2
Wales Betty Hughes 2
England Sharon Brown 0
Wales Betty Hughes 0
England Margaret Lally 2
England Babs Evans 0
England Margaret Lally 2

1977 Indoor League Mens Darts World Championship Results[edit]

1st Round
Best of 3 Legs
Quarter Finals
Best of 3 Legs
Semi-finals
Best of 5 Legs
Final
Best of 5 Legs
                       
England Alan Glazier 2
England Eric Bristow 0
England Alan Glazier
Wales David 'Rocky' Jones 2
Wales Alan Evans 1
Wales David 'Rocky' Jones 2
Wales David 'Rocky' Jones 3
England John Lowe
England Cliff Lazarenko 2
Scotland Rab Smith 0
England Cliff Lazarenko
England John Lowe 2
England John Lowe 2
England Doug McCarthy 0
Wales David 'Rocky' Jones
England Tony Brown 3
England Charlie Ellix 0
England Billy Lennard 2
England Billy Lennard
England Cyril Hayes 2
England Cyril Hayes 2
Sweden Stefan Lord 0
England Cyril Hayes
Wales Tony Brown 3
Wales Phil Obbard 0
Australia Kevin White 2
Australia Kevin White
England Tony Brown 2
England Nick Norris 1
England Tony Brown 2

Reigning champion Leighton Rees was unbelievably at the time of filming the competition due to him touring Australasia doing dart exhibitions. In the 1977 Indoor League mens darts World Championship players were redrawn after each round. And the draw above reflects this.

1977 Indoor League Mixed Pairs Darts World Championship Results[edit]

Semi-finals
Best of 5 Legs
Final
Best of 5 Legs
           
1 Australia Kevin White & England Lynn Stewart 3
4 England Bob Crosland & England Margaret Lally 2
Australia Kevin White & England Lynn Stewart
England Ken Brown & Wales Sandra Gibb 3
3 England Ken Brown & WalesSandra Gibb 3
2 England Peter Chapman & England Brenda Simpson 2

During the second semi-final Peter Chapman become the first player to a televised 180 in a mixed pairs game, and Sandra Gibb scored the first ever televised 180 scored by a female player.

The semi-finals and final in this mixed pairs competition were the best of 5 legs of 701.

Other tournaments[edit]

Indoor League Bar Billiards Championships[edit]

  • 1972 Wales "Taffy" John beat England Malcolm Rider 2,820–1,450
  • 1973 England John Baker beat England Peter Wells 2400-1440

Indoor League Arm Wrestling Championships[edit]

  • 1972 Not Held
  • 1973 England Donald "Buster" Witney beat England "King" Ben Boothman 1–0

(Ben Boothman went on to have a successful wrestling career as King Ben with ITVs World of Sport Wrestling)[2]

References[edit]

External links[edit]