The Diary of Darting Distance – Part II of John Fowler’s Lockdown Tales.

World Championship official, Darts World columnist and popular darts MC, finds the Covid-19 lock-down a mixed bag of exercising and boredom, but with moments of laughter and warm memories:

Devon Peterson and John Fowler enjoying happier, and less socially distanced, times!

Well readers, it’s been another week of long walks, a little poetry, and sorting through the many momentoes and records of all my years in darts. Maybe I’ll write a book and put a poem in each chapter?

It’s not all doom and gloom though folks, I have rediscovered many fabulous souvenirs, programs and anecdotes that I may get the chance to share with you over the comings weeks and months.

Incredibly I found a handwritten copy of my first ever Darts World submission. The poem, from 1979 printed in Darts World:

Over forty years after my first efforts were published in Darts World, I find myself as a regular contributor! Funny ol’ world.

I also have a letter saying my poem, about my county debut, which I can’t find at the moment, would be published in March 82 edition. Yes readers, believe it or not, I could throw a mean dart once!

I also came across a snap shot sent to me about the British Classic in 2005. When I could mix it with the big boys!

The event was won by Paul Hogan, who has gone on to cause many an upset and continues to do so.

But the amazing thing was the company I was keeping! There are three Wordl champions in the list including the current PDC holder Peter Wright. Players that I have gone on to work with at exhibitions or officiate for on the biggest stages. I have known Dave Honey for many years and Mark Lewis was a fine Welsh international, although he may be better known as Jamie’s dad these days.

I lost out to Andy Callaby. I left 44 after 12 darts and busted it, he took out 145 exactly the same way as he did to beat Phil Taylor in Dublin the previous year. If I had won, I would have played Gary Anderson in the quarter finals.

My treasure trove, of darting memories, contains many more items for me to check out and perhaps, share with you all. I have just come across a plain paper Bobby George exhibition program from decades ago when I was in audience. Hard to believe that Bobby and I have worked together a few times in the last few years!

That will have to be it for now, time for another of my daily excersise efforts, as allowed by the powers that be, so see you soon folks.

Stay safe and play darts!


Editorial team: We are engaged in a hunt for the original copies of johns poem and article and look forward to showing you how they looked back their printed format!

Diary Of Darting Distance: John Fowler Shares Tales Of Darting Life On Hold.

Darts World have been in regular contact with our contributors, both print and online, during these difficult days. Each have expressed a combination of sadness, disappointment and apprehension at what the future may hold. However, they have all also felt that others are worse of than they are and that they should make the best they can of things.

John Fowler, World Championship official, popular MC and author of ‘Mic Drop’ has offered to share his experiences through a regular diary. As always with John it is honest, revealing and quite moving at times. We hope readers gain from his sharing it:

John’s usually irrepressible personality has taken taken a a different tone during the Lock Down. he share it here:

Thursday 9th April:

2 and a half weeks into the “Lockdown” situation I find myself going out for a good long walk, at least 5 miles a day alone with my thoughts. Today I was a bit more cheerful than I have been and came up with a poem that many of you will have seen on Facebook. The weather was very kind and it was enjoyable. Beats staring at 4 walls I suppose:

While this footpath I walk along, 
The sky is full of skylark song,
A flock of bullfinch thirty strong, 
Serenade me on my way;

Listening to the buzzing bees,
Above the sound of a gentle breeze,
With the fresh new leaves upon the trees, 
On this beautiful spring day;

A brace of pheasant took to the air,
They gave me quite a scare,
I did not know that they were there, 
But I’m still alive so that’s okay.

Friday 10th April:

“Good Friday” although nothing “good” about today apart from the weather. I should have been working with Ronnie Baxter in Plymouth tonight before travelling to Germany for an exhibition with Jackpot, Diamond, Superchin and Duzza and then staying over there for the Bulls German open weekend in Kalkar next weekend. Another exhibition postponed today which doesn’t help my mood.

Saturday 11th April:

Another 5 or so mile walk today, different route to the last 2 days. I went down by the canal, another fine day, mood a little better today. Although disappointed about not being in Germany, working, at least I had an enquiry for later in the year or early 2021.

Sunday 12th April:

Another fine day, I was a little bit naughty so don’t tell anyone but walked a lot today totalling about 11 miles. To be fair, where I live, you don’t see many people where I walk and definitely give them a wide berth when I do. I spend lots of time thinking whilst walking, does that count as multitasking? Just hoping that this situation sorts itself out soon.

Stay safe all.

John 


Editors note: John has form when this poetry lark, there is a rumour that he had poems published in darts world over 30 years ago! We shall try to track them down!

‘Mic Drop’-World Championship MC John Fowler’s Thoughts On Current Events.

John Fowler is one of the most likeable people in darts, His self made rise, from part time helper outer, to officiating at our biggest events is a tremendous story. Read his latest ‘Mic Drop’ column here:

Jayeff Returns!

Hello again readers:

Let me begin by apologising for the extended gap, between editions, I was so busy that I was unable to get anything on paper in quite some time. As I write this, it is with apprehension on what the future holds on a couple of fronts. Firstly, there was the uncertainty of what happens with the future of the BDO following the resignation of the Chairman, Des Jacklin, who in my humble opinion was on a hiding to nothing from the very beginning.

Secondly, we have this weekend, seen the temporary closure of pubs and clubs because of the Coronavirus outbreak. Many of us have already lost quite a few bookings, some can be rescheduled, others cannot and the ones that are will obviously take place on dates that could have been used for new events.

John with Micheal Unterbuchner in a recent exhibition

As a self employed man that relies on these events for my living, it is a harrowing time. Who knows how long it will go on for? Obviously the health of the population is far more important than little old me, but nevertheless it is quite depressing not knowing what will happen.

Whatever happens, in the coming weeks or months, can never take away the fantastic experiences, memories and journeys I have made in the last seven and a half years. During early February I enjoyed a nice relaxing weekend at The Dutch Open weekend, just watching. This year was the 10th anniversary of my only participation in the event as a player (yes I did, and still do, throw a dart or two) its enormous and the organisation is very impressive. Perhaps I shall return as player, MC or official?

At the end of February, I officiated at my first ever event on the island of Jersey. A first for me in respect of the format, 16 players who had never thrown a competitive dart before, they were given 8 weeks training by players from the Jersey Darts Organisation. They then played a tournament on stage in front of about 500 people, raising about £61,000 for charity. Naturally it was a little bit harder than reffing for the pros as I had no idea where the darts would land, but it was great fun nonetheless.

John (2nd left) with the cast of a recent German Exhibition.

I have been provisionally booked to return for the 2021 hosting of an excellent edition to my roster, fingers crossed that we are back to normal by then. 

Next month, it is unlikely that there will anything new to report on, so I will delve into my many memories and try to entertain you with some interesting stories. Stay safe in these uncertain times!

  • Follow John – @jayeffmc
  • Book John or plan an event: Here
  • Or leave a comment below the line

Many who know John or have got used to seeing his words over recent months will wish him all the best in what must be an uncertain time, as for many, perhaps if your are planning a non movable event for next year, birthday or similar, you could get in touch and book in one of the best MC’s around!

Personally, I look forward to his columns of memories as much, if not more, than his more up to date diary columns. Trust me, Jayeff has huge darting experience and is one of the funniest guys out there, also one of the nicest. DW look forward to see him back ‘On the Open Road’ very soon. – DW (Editor at Large)


Mic Drop! The December Instalment from John Fowler’s Darting Life.

John Folwer is a an MC, Host and Darts Referee. He has worked with legendary players and promoted darts all over the globe. He recently made his World Championship Officiating debut. His monthly column appears in Darts World Magazine.

Here is December 2019’s Episode:

Hello again readers, what a month I’ve had since my last report. A fantastic week in the sun at the Northern Cyprus open, culminating in calling the finals, sharing those duties with Mick Connerton, on the Sunday  afternoon, great job my friend.

I actually played in two of the events, reaching the last 16 of the warm up singles for players that had no partners in the mixed pairs. I decided to enter the Men’s singles on the Saturday night where I was drawn against the number 14 seed, Gabriel Pascaru of Romania. I missed 4 darts at a double in the 1st leg and the rest as they say is history. I may get to referee for him at the World Championships at the O2 Indigo in January. 

John has now called, referreed and officiated in three major TV events and one major final.

No sooner had I landed back in England, it was time to repack my bag for a weekend in Essex at the iconic Circus Tavern for the World Masters as seen on Eurosport. It was brilliant to meet up with the majority of the refereeing team again, great job again folks. I called four great matches on the Saturday, then two quarter finals, one of the semi finals and the first five sets of the final. 

Congratulations to John O’shea on his victory and commiserations to Scott Waites, the runner up and to all the other qualifiers too. Well done to Lisa Ashton on her victory in the ladies tournament. It was great to see Bobby George and his lovely wife Marie in attendance on the Sunday. Many thanks to everyone for their kind comments and words of encouragement, they are really appreciated.

I am very much looking forward to January at the O2 Indigo. Toward the end of October 2019, at an exhibition in Wittlich,in front of 1500 fans, I finally added Raymond van Barneveld to the list of World champions that I have worked with. It was a fantastic night, in another beautiful part of Germany, that also included Ian White, Max Hopp and Gabriel Clemens.

John likes to enjoy all aspects of our great game! The social element is just as important as the official one.

By the time that you read this I will have officiated at the Malta open for the 3rd time in 4 years. Looking forward to a weekend in Dublin with Devon Petersen and Stephen Bunting at the beginning of December, always a great experience in the Emerald Isle. 2020 looks like it will provide more fantastic times with the diary filling up nicely. Already plenty of events booked in Germany and Switzerland is also booked again. Also my first darts event in Jersey has been confirmed. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for reading, hopefully you enjoy reading about it as much as I do writing about it. 

Signing off for 2019 and wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year in 2020.


Mic Drop, with John Fowler. Episode 3 Preview.

One of the most popular new features in Darts World is the Mic Drop column. John’s style, and many anecdotes, are proving popular with readers across the darting world.

Here is a taste of what to come in the November Edition (Print):

Mic Drop: Tales from the Open Road!
Every MOnth with John Fowler (BDO Referee & Official)

Hello, again Darts family. Where do I start this edition?

Only one word needed, WOW!!! Having recently become a contributor to Darts World, I was wondering what would be next on the agenda. Then, a couple of months ago, I was in Germany and noticed two missed calls on my mobile phone and a message on Facebook saying “Call me urgently please”. So I rang, the number turned out to be the BDO Chairman and I was pleasantly surprised to be asked if I was available to join the new group of BDO referees and if I was available for the World Darts Trophy weekend in Blackburn.

Naturally, I was only too happy to accept. 

On the afternoon that my appointment was due to be made public, I decided to go out for a training walk along the canal towpath. From the moment it was announced, I had to sit down on a bench by the lock for 90 minutes because my mobile phone went into meltdown.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you that took the time to contact me for your very kind messages.

Very humbling to an old country boy like me…….

Complete article available in Darts World Magazine (Print & Digital) November 2019. Get your copy or subscribe here: www.dartsworld.com/product/magazine/

John Fowler & The Incredible Journey. Our BDO Official’s Column Continues.

John Fowler – @jayeffmc

Hello again everyone, I hope that you enjoyed my introductory account of how I got involved in the refereeing/MC’ing side of darts. This time I would like to tell you about some of the more exciting journeys I have made during my darting odyssey.

Taking nothing away from all of the other events, a particular example stands out. In November 2016 I was very fortunate to be invited to fly the 11 and a half hour journey to Tokyo and officiate at the PDJ final qualifying event for Ally Pally. My hosts were fantastic and I even had time to visit the city including the famous (and very high!) the Sky Tree Tower for some wonderful views of Tokyo. Great restaurants were certainly on the menu, you would never know from looking at me. I was very proud to be invited to return in September 2017 and repeat an unforgettable experience. The ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ is truly an amazing place to officiate.

For the last 3 years, I have done both the German and Swiss Open weekends and I have a great story from the 2nd German Open (The 1st one at Kalkar). I was refereeing a stage game in the afternoon between Tony O’Shea and a Swedish player I can only remember as Patrick. It was 3-3 and in the final leg Tony started with 100, his opponent replied with 81. Tony then hit treble 20, treble 20 and before he threw his last dart the stage went into total darkness. I heard Tony say “Oh darn it!”, or words to that effect, and threw his 3rd dart while it was still dark. As the dart hit the board, the lighting returned and yes you’ve guessed it “ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY “.

Among many highlights in my near seven years as a professional MC are 2 superb visits to Galway, always a brilliant crowd of crazy and funny people. I’ve been as far North as Fraserburgh and Keith in Scotland, again brilliant experiences and crowds. Malta has also proven enjoyable, twice, and last year I had a late call up for Luxembourg as Marco Meijer had unfortunately picked up a back injury. Glad to say that he has recovered from that. Visiting Athens in March this year, for the inaugural Greek Festival of Darts, meant working within the sight of the Acropolis and I have to learn the Syrtaki (Zorba’s Dance) for next year, don’t ask!

Shortly, I will be working again with one of our most entertaining dart players, Hawaii 501 himself Wayne Mardle. Anyone that has seen Wayne, in exhibition play, will know that one of his party tricks is to blow the dart into the board with his mouth. I have worked with Wayne on many occasions now and he has actually blown the dart into the winning double on at least 10 occasions. As ever, I have had the best view in the house! 

Until next month, stay healthy and happy. Hopefully, I’ll see you at an event soon. 

Follow John on twitter at @jayeffmc or look him up on facebook. An extended version of John’s Column will be in a forthcoming edition of Darts World Magazine ( Print Edition) Subscribe here:https://www.dartsworld.com/product/magazine/

Mic Drop! Tales from the Open Road, with John Fowler.

A version of this article first appeared in the July edition of Darts World magazine. This and other editions are available here: https://www.dartsworld.com/product/magazine/


Hello to all you dart players, fans and readers out there in ‘DartsWorld’. Welcome to the first of my monthly accounts of life on the road as a professional darts MC. By way of introduction, I would like to give you an insight into how I got involved on the microphone as opposed to the playing side of our wonderful sport.

I started off by helping as a referee for Oxfordshire’s home county matches. To be honest, I didn’t really enjoy it to start with, but the more I undertook the more I got into it. Then in January 2009, while playing for Oxfordshire in Yorkshire, someone mentioned that I should think about organising an exhibition with me as the compère. It was one of those “at the bar” chats that planted a seed. Fortunately, former World No5 Dennis Smith, was a teammate at the time and he offered his services for a reasonable fee and I decided to make it happen. 

So, on the 2nd of May 2009 at Bicester Town FC about 40 spectators joined us for a good fun evening of darts and humour. Later that year I organised my 2nd event at the same venue. This time Jamie Caven was the star attraction and, as always with ‘Jabba’ another great evening ensued.

By the end of that year, my first outside booking arrived and what a start I would be MCing for a 3 time World Champion! Despite my initial nerves Martin Adams proved a pleasure to work with and we have done so several times since. Over the following two-three years, I organised and hosted more exhibitions in the Bicester area, including with the late Eric Bristow MBE, Steve Beaton, Wayne Mardle, Peter Manley and many more.  Didcot GWRSA became almost a second home where we also hosted great events too, with World Champions and other great players.

When I, unfortunately, lost my beautiful mother in July 2012, just 10 months after my wonderful father had passed away, I decided that I was going to try to make a career as a professional MC. The first thing I did was to ring my good friend and former World Champion, Bob Anderson to ask his opinion on my plans. When he replied with an immediate positive response my mind was made up.

Over the next few months, I will tell you about some of my fantastic experiences at home and abroad, including my trips to Japan, unforgettable journeys and experiences. In the last 5 years, I have visited Germany forty-five times and this figure is rising all the time. I visit Switzerland for the annual, this year on the 2nd weekend in June, and I’ve many other great events coming up in the next few months. I hope that you have enjoyed this introduction. Meanwhile, I shall be on the ‘Open Road’. See you at an event soon, I hope. 

Darts World Contributor to Make TV Debut! John Fowler Joins BDO Officials.

Congratulations to Darts World columnist, and dartsworld.com, contributor John Fowler who has been confirmed as an official for the upcoming World Trophy to be screened on Eurosport.

Speaking to John, before the official announcement, it was clear that he was delighted to be asked but waiting nervously for the official confirmation. Those who have read his MIC DROP column will know that John has gathered a huge amount of experience in darts over the last few years. His enthusiasm for the game is unbounded and he is a strong personality who can carry authority on stage.

The BDO has recruited a new team of officials following the departures of a large percentage of the previous stage team. Paul Booth will offer some experience as the highest-profile recruit.

From running his own small scale knockouts, and hosting exhibitions in local clubs, John progressed to working with most of the biggest names in darts. He has refereed County weekends and overseen many competitions. He has clocked up thousands of miles, travelling within the UK, journeyed all over Europe and the wider world to MC and host events.

It is remarkable that John will reach the top level of his chosen profession within 5 years of deciding to pursue his dream.

John will make his BDO debut at the end of this month, at The Kings Hall in Blackburn. We hope he still has time to share his experience with us at dartsworld.com.

Darts World Welcomes New Addition. John Fowler lends his well-known voice.

John Fowler is a popular darts MC, event host and referee. In addition, John has decades of darting experience and a wide knowledge of all things darts. John will be contributing his ‘Mic Drop‘ column across our current and future DartsWorld publications and platforms.

Readers who have been to an event, where John officiated, will be aware of his terrific sense of humour and love for the sport of darts. We are sure his stories, anecdotes and opinions will be a welcome addition to our roster of authors, contributors and commentators.

Anyone coming across John for the first time will soon be captured by his enthusiasm and engaging manner. His first column is an outline of how he got roped into being behind the microphone instead of on the oche (he is a decent player in addition to his host skills) and how his career progressed, from initial reluctance to a full-time occupation.

He has worked with many of the games biggest names, both past and present and is proud to call some of them friends. He certainly has many a tale to tell.

John’s travels around the UK, Europe and globally will provide him with a bottomless stack of material for future columns and we are sure he will be commenting in other areas. He is not easy to keep quiet!

Welcome to the team, John.