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!

Darts World Logo

Remember The Wider Darts Family!

Darts World has been quick to commend many members of the darting community for their efforts during the Covid-19 isolation and lockdown periods. It has been superb to see the major darts brands look after their staff and attempt to carry-on if possible. The PDPA stepped up and are trying to assist the lower ranked players. Phil Taylor is playing isolation darts with Barney and there are many other examples.

Independent darts folk such as our own John Fowler have been very badly affected and are worried what the future holds. Unlike many they are not always covered by the various schemes.

However, it may be that a less high profile group are in danger of getting lost in the fog of activity. There are many people in darts who are self employed or casually paid. They help make our sport the grassroots-to-elite level pipeline that it is. Photographers, writers, promoters, coaches,drivers, MC’s and markers/officials are just some that have cropped up via our conversations recently.

We would ask those who are lesser affected (and can afford or manage) to help out of they can. Perhaps you could book an event for next year? A birthday treat or team celebration? Pay a deposit and help the cashflow of these folk. Alternatively, you might treat yourself to a subscriptions, t shirts, mug or other merchandise that may help an individual stay afloat and remain in the darts business after this tough time is over?

A healthy darts scene will require many hands to get back up to full steam in the coming months and we at Darts World would like to see “no man left behind”.

‘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!

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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)