I was a carpenter when I left school. I worked in the building trade until 1975. It was then that I turned professional darts player and this has been my livelihood ever since.  I was 21 before I ever threw a dart.

My first TV tournament was the Indoor League, a Yorkshire Television event. I then won the World Masters, followed a few weeks later by the British Open and then the News of the World. In fact I won fifteen major events in a row.

I first played with a set of Unicorn Brass darts and great darts they were too. I progressed on to tungsten and then titanium. I have only ever worked with one darts manufacture, Unicorn and I am still with them after all these years.

I was one of the founder members of the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and later secretary of the Professional Dart Players Association (PDPA). 

I never thought I would leave the BDO. I was England captain for seven years during which time we never lost a match. But the BDO did not promote the game like they should have done. They stayed very much the same year after year and they got left behind. We needed new events and more prize money, so we broke away from the BDO and formed the World Darts Council (WDC) which went on to become the PDC.

The PDPA for initially formed in the mid 70’s. I later became Chairman and Secretary of the Association, keeping it going with my own money for eight years. The PDPA now has over 600 players registered and it employ’s a full time Chief Executive Officer.

The PDC was, and is, a great organisation. Its primary duty is to make money. This in turn gives the players more chance to make money; the spectators have better darts to watch and the manufacturers sell more products. This is just simple business.

I had a long spanning career in darts and played in many iconic and unforgettable matches over that period, a certain nine-dart leg was my favourite match to have been a part of, “The World Championship should rightly be the foremost for any player, but for excitement I cannot really take the MFI World Matchplay (nine-darter) off top spot. The excitement received when the double 18 went in for the first 9 dart game on TV was immense, not just for me, but the audience who can rightly claim to have witnessed it. Keith Deller, my opponent that day, was also my opponent in another classic match. It was the top 8 of the World Championship at Jollees in Stoke, we scored no less than 24 maximums in the match and I think that ranks right up there with the players of today.”

I've seen darts rapidly change in my lifetime from a pub pastime to a competitive sport and as the stars of tomorrow start to make their impact on the game, the future for the next generation looks very healthy and it is all maybe down to the 14 players who looked at their future and beyond.”

As for my own future, I'll carry on throwing my Unicorn Darts, playing my exhibitions, sharing my life stories and raising money for my chosen Macmillan Cancer Charity, I'll also sneak in a little sunshine in my favourite place of Tenerife.


© 2019 John Lowe MBE. All rights reserved.