News of the World Darts Championship
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|News of the World Darts Championship|
|Venue||Various (see here)|
| Phil Taylor
The News of the World Individual Darts Championship was one of the first major organised darts competitions, which began in 1927. It became England's first national darts competition from 1947 until its demise in 1990. There was also a brief revival of the event in 1996/97, but it is now discontinued.
Before the tournament was established, darts competitions were held in various forms around the England – often as friendly matches between pubs. After World War I, pub breweries began arranging darts leagues which began to sow the seeds for the establishment of a national darts competition. The tournament was noted for using an 8 ft oche rather than the regulation 7 ft 9 ¼ inches. One of these competitions was held in Hythe Street, Dartford, Kent in 1927. The competition was sponsored by a local Brewery, C.N Kidd & Sons Ltd.
The tournament was first organised in the 1927/28 season thanks to the help of the staff on the News of the World newspaper and other volunteers, who helped set up the competition. William Jewiss won the 1927 darts challenge cup sponsored by News of the World and C.N Kidd & Sons brewery in Dartford.
There were around 1,000 entries in the first event, which was held in the Metropolitan area of London. The tournament then began to expand around the different counties in England. By 1938/39 there were six different regional events – London & South England, Wales, Lancashire & Cheshire, Yorkshire, the North of England and the Midland Counties.
The total entrants in the competition in 1938/39 was in excess of 280,000. Enormous interest was created that year by the London and South of England championship. A record crowd of 14,534 spectators filled the Royal Agricultural Hall, London in May to witness the final between Jim Pike (representing the Windmill Club, Southwark) and Marmaduke Brecon (Jolly Sailor, Hanworth, Middlesex). Brecon ran out the winner by two games to one.
There was, however no national champion of the event until after World War II. It was revived as a national competition in 1947/48, and continued to be described as ‘the championship every dart player wants to win’ until its demise in the 1990s.
The News of the World was the first nationally televised darts event as ITV broadcast the latter stages of the championship from 1972 to 1985, and again in 1987 and 1988. The 1986 event wasn't broadcast due to a technicians' strike.
As quickly as darts tournaments began to appear on television throughout the 1970s and into the early and mid 1980s, the bubble burst and all darts competitions except the World Championship disappeared from TV screens in 1989.
This big sudden slump in televised darts coverage meant that it came as no surprise that the News of the World Championship also ended after the 1990 event, with the last two events having been untelevised. As it happened, 1990 was also the first year that separate competitions were held for men and women.
The lack of televised darts coverage left some players frustrated by the lack of opportunity to make a living from darts, and in January 1992 they formed their own organisation to start up their own tournaments (see main article: Professional Darts Corporation, and Split in darts).
The News of the World Championship made a one-year reappearance in the 1996/97 season, when Sky Sports and the News of the World resurrected the competition.
Taylor put the record straight by beating Ian White 2–0 in the final in June 1997, collecting the News of the World Big D Trophy, a cheque for £42,000 and a set of Unicorn golden darts. Following his victory, which also saw him take out the then England captain Martin Adams 2–1 in the semi finals, Taylor was quoted as saying "I've won five world titles – but this one means everything".
However, the overall response to the competition was disappointing and the News of the World decided against running it again. The tournament remains discontinued.
The tournament was arranged on a regional basis from 1927 until 1939. The National Championship began in 1947–48.
|1947-48||Harry Leadbetter||Windle Labour Club, St Helens||2-1||Tommy Small||Sth Durham Steel & Iron SC, West Hartlepool|
|1948-49||Jackie Boyce||New Southgate SC||2–1||Stan Outten||Dr Johnson, Barkingside|
|1949-50||Dixie Newberry||Albert, Hitchin||2-0||Ronnie Ridley||King Edward Hotel, Newcastle-u-Tyne|
|1950-51||Harry Perryman||Home Office SC, Greenford||2-0||Laurie Runchman||Feathers, Felixstowe|
|1951-52||Tommy Gibbons||Ivanhoe WMC, Conisbrough||2-0||Jack Wallace||Low Seaton BL, Workington|
|1952-53||Jimmy Carr||Red Lion, Dipton||2-0||Ernest Greatbatch||Horse Vaults Hotel, Pontefract|
|1953-54||Oliver James||Ex-Servicemen’s Club, Onllwyn||2-0||Johnny Bell||The Sun, Waltham Abbey|
|1954-55||Tom Reddington||New Inn, Stonebroom||2-0||Johnny Bell||Sun, Waltham Abbey|
|1955-56||Trevor Peachey||Black Fox, Thurston||2-0||Les Campbell||Boot, Dinas|
|1956-57||Alwyn Mullins||Traveller’s Rest, Tickhill||2-0||Len Baker||Corporation Hotel, Cardiff|
|1957-58||Tommy Gibbons||Ivanhoe WMC, Conisbrough||2-0||Eric Moss||Railway Tavern, Harleston|
|1958-59||Albert Welsh||Horden Hotel, Seaham||2-1||Frank Whitehead||White Rose Hotel, Rossington|
|1959-60||Tom Reddington||George Hotel, Alfreton||2-1||Dai Jones||Cambrian Hotel, Aberystwyth|
|1960-61||Alec Adamson||Prince of Wales, Hetton-le-Hole||2-1||Eddie Brown||Magpie, Stonham|
|1961-62||Eddie Brown||Magpie, Stonham||2-0||Dennis Follett||Cadeleigh Arms, Cadeleigh|
|1962-63||Robbie Rumney||Waterloo Hotel, Darlington||2-0||Bill Harding||Globe Hotel, Aberdare|
|1963-64||Tom Barrett||Odco SC, London||2-0||Ray Hatton||Flower of the Valley Hotel, Rochdale|
|1964-65||Tom Barrett||Odco SC, London||2-1||Norman Fielding||Station Inn, Swannington|
|1965-66||Wilf Ellis||Brookside WMC, Upton||2-1||Ron Langley||Arlington SC, Harlow|
|1966-67||Wally Seaton||Swan Inn, Parson Drove||2-0||Brian Quarterman||Ivy Inn, North Littleton|
|1967-68||Bill Duddy||Rose & Thistle, Frimley Green||2-0||Gerry Feeney||Unicorn Club, Workington|
|1968-69||Barry Twomlow||Red Lion, Chesterfield||2-0||Paul Gosling||William IV, Truro|
|1969-70||Henry Barney||The Pointer Inn, Newchurch||2-0||Alan Cooper||Plough, Filton|
|1970-71||Dennis Filkins||Barrow, Hepburn & Gale SC, Bermondsey||2-0||Derek White||The Ship Inn, Weymouth|
|1971-72||Brian Netherton||Welcome Home Inn, Par||2-0||Alan Evans||Ferndale Hotel, Rhondda|
|1972-73||Ivor Hodgkinson||Great Northern, Langley Mill||2-1||Ron Church||Royal Alfred, Shoreditch|
|1973-74||Peter Chapman||Bird in Hand, Henley-on-Thames||2-1||Paul Gosling||Portscatho Club, Truro|
|1974-75||Derek White||Belvedere Inn, Weymouth||2-1||Bill Duddy||Frimley Green Working Mens Club, Camberley|
|1975-76||Bill Lennard||Cotton Tree Inn, Manchester||2-0||Leighton Rees||Ynysybwl USC, Pontypridd|
|1976-77||Mick Norris||King of Denmark, Ramsgate||2-0||Bob Crosland||Blackamoor Head, Pontefract|
|1977-78||Stefan Lord||Stockholm Super Darts Club, Stockholm||2-0||John Coward||White Hart BL, Sedbergh|
|1978-79||Bobby George||King George V, Ilford||2-0||Alan Glazier||George & Dragon, Wetherby|
|1979-80||Stefan Lord||Stockholm Super Darts Club, Stockholm||2-0||Dave Whitcombe||Naval Club, Chatham|
|1980-81||John Lowe||Willow Tree, Pilsley||2-0||Mick Norris||Earl St Vincent, Ramsgate|
|1981-82||Roy Morgan||Wheel o’ Worfield, Worfield||2-1||Jim Hughes||Parcwern Country Club, Ammanford|
|1982-83||Eric Bristow||Foaming Quart, Norton Green||2-0||Ralph Flatt||Old Red House, Carlton Colville|
|1983-84||Eric Bristow||Foaming Quart, Norton Green||2-0||Ian Robertson||Bell, Marston Moretaine|
|1984-85||Dave Lee||Ivor Arms, Pontllanfraith||2-0||Billy Dunbar||Woolwich Infant, London|
|1985-86||Bobby George||Old Maypole, Hainault||2-0||Rick Ney||US Darting Association|
|1986-87||Mike Gregory||Stones Cross Hotel, Midsomer Norton||2-0||Peter Evison||Halcyon/Spikes, Peterborough|
|1987-88||Mike Gregory||Stones Cross Hotel, Midsomer Norton||2-1||Kevin Spiolek||Cambridge Squash Club|
|1988-89||Dave Whitcombe||King’s Head, Ipswich||2-1||Dennis Priestley||Horseshoe, Rotherham|
|1989-90||Paul Cook||Gorse Hill WMC, Swindon||2-0||Steve Hudson||Oakworth SC, Keighley|
|1996-97||Phil Taylor||Cricketer’s Arms, Newcastle-under-Lyme||2-0||Ian White||Dockside Inn, Runcorn|
|1989-90||Lynne Ormond||George, Alford||Jane Stubbs||Roebuck Hotel, Northwich|
|1996-97||Linda Jones||Seven Stars, Chorley||2–0||Melanie Saunders||Railway Inn, Abergavenny|
No player has ever won the national title three times, seven players managed two wins each.
- Tommy Gibbons (1951–52, 1957–58)
- Tom Reddington (1954–55, 1959–60)
- Tom Barrett (1963–64, 1964–65)
- Stefan Lord (1977–78, 1979–80)
- Eric Bristow (1982–83, 1983–84)
- Bobby George (1978–79, 1985–86)
- Mike Gregory (1986–87, 1987–88)
- 1948–49 Empire Pool (Wembley Arena), Wembley, London
- 1950–58 Empress Hall, Earls Court, London
- 1959–62 Empire Pool (Wembley Arena), Wembley, London
- 1963–77 Alexandra Palace, London
- 1978–88 Wembley Arena, Wembley, London
- 1989–90 Docklands Arena, London
- 1997 Villa Park, Birmingham
- "News of the World Champions". Darts 501. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
- "Planet Darts | Latest News | Newsdesk | Newsdesk | Taylor Goes Back To The Future!". Pdc.tv. Retrieved 2012-07-26.