Rob Getting Cross With Social Media Abuse.

ROB CROSS believes that constant online abuse from fans will “alienate” players from social media. The 2018 World Champion is bidding for a place in the PDC Home Tour final tonight (Thurs) against Nathan Aspinall, Joe Cullen, and Jonny Clayton.

Reigning World Matchplay champion Rob Cross is getting fed up with the increase in social media abuse. (Pic: Taylor Lanning)

But the Hastings star, 29, admits that he feels the escalating problem of online attacks on players will stop them interacting with fans – and that’s a big worry for the sport. Over the last month Jelle Klaasen, Kyle Anderson, Peter Wright, Paul Nicholson, and Cross have been given major stick on Twitter. 

He said: “It’s getting way out of hand. I think most of the charm of darts is that the players are down to earth, in the main none of us are divas. “I think darts is the working-class sport now. We love to be amongst the fans, we do exhibitions so much and we all love it. “But over the past few weeks it has got so bad online that I think players will stop using social media, it will alienate them. I know players that are just going to not do it anymore. That would be such a shame.

“I definitely stepped back from social media a couple of years ago when myself and my family were getting death threats. You just don’t want to see that sort of thing.”

Cross admits that he has been on the receiving end of insults despite winning both his Home Tour groups and suffering the loss of his grandad to coronavirus. But he has also praised the PDPA for being so proactive to protect the players and giving them advice. He added: “I’ve played in the Home Tour despite losing my grandad to Covid-19 just a few weeks ago. We’ve had a really tough time.“

“My nan has moved in since he died and straight up I’ve not practiced hardly at all. We’ve had the funeral to deal with and naturally all the grief. It’s been a horrible time for us all. “Yet after winning both my group stages so far, my social media has been full of insults at me! “A link was put up on one thread pointing out the PDPA online abuse statement, and the guy replied that I deserved all the abuse”.

“I just think players will stop talking to fans. It’ll be such a bad thing because the minority will ruin it for everyone else.”

“Most of it is people losing bets and then blaming the player for it. The stupid thing is that I can guarantee no player in darts ever goes out to lose a match, we want to win every time. “The PDPA are brilliant, I have to say that. They are always quick to get in touch if abuse has been excessive. It’s just a shame no one can solve the problem because Twitter won’t change it.”

Plenty to to think about for ‘Voltage’.(Pic: Taylor Lanning)

Cross is now concerned for pregnant wife Georgia who is suffering from SPD as she carries their fourth child. He added:

“She’s on crutches at the moment, so it’s really tough for her. We think she’ll be induced in August. If it gets any worse she’ll have to use a wheelchair until the baby is born”.

“Life certainly isn’t dull. We’ll crack on with the Home Tour. I don’t think I’ve played that well, I’ve just done enough each time but it has been difficult to concentrate on darts over the past few weeks.

“If I can win this Home Tour it will be nothing short of a miracle considering what’s been going on.”

Lannings Complete Family Circle: Award-Winning Journalists Join Darts World Team.

Following their recent change in ownership, Darts World is reasserting our position, as ‘The Official Voice of Darts’, with two major additions to the DW team.

Award winning journalist Phil Lanning (right) with his father Dave. Both have made outstanding contributions to telling the story of darts.

As well as exciting plans, for later in 2020, including an all-new magazine and the development of a wide range of new platforms the team is also adding talent and experience to their writing, reporting, and production team.

Phil Lanning has been writing and reporting on darts for almost thirty years. His knowledge of the darts scene, and its characters, is perhaps second to none. Phil is delighted to join the new Darts World team and bring his expertise and experience to a publication that holds a special place in his heart. Phil’s father, the legendary commentator and journalist Dave Lanning wrote for Darts World during the 1980s and was one of the major voices to popularise darts during its first ‘golden era’.

Pic Drop! Taylor Lanning shows his creative image skills! (pic: Taylor Lanniing!)

To complete the family circle we are also delighted to welcome Taylor Lanning, Phil’s son, and Dave’s grandson, to the fold. Taylor is a highly respected pictorial journalist and will be joining as chief photographer.

A Darts World spokesperson said:

It is amazing to think that three generations, of the Lanning family, have been involved with making darts World ‘the Official Voice of Darts’.

OCHE Magazine: Issue II, Out Now!

For those who like their darts, with a dash of GQ style, the second edition of OCHE magazine is imminent.

A new vision. OCHE has certainly grabbed the attention of darts people.

The smooth, image laden publication is the pet project of sports journalist Phil Lanning with many of the images being provided by his son Taylor.

As the link above shows, readers can expect more big name interviews and a slick, glossy presentation.

It can only be good for our sport that a more varied media offering is available to fans, players and commercial partners. Good luck OCHE!

The Fall of Benito Van De Pas. When Will It End?

Benito van de Pas was ranked 13th in the world. He was about to be nominated for the Premier League. He was on the verge of joining the world elite. But then it went downhill all of a sudden. Now he is 52nd in the rankings and must fear the loss of the Tour Card.

‘Big Ben’ no longer chiming? Benito has suffered a dramatic decline. (Pic; Taylor Lanning)

Van de Pas’ talent cannot be denied, he had demonstrated this early in his career, reaching the last
16 of the World Masters whilst still a teenager. He was then able to win a tour card, via the PDC Q
School, at his first attempt in 2014.

Benito made an almost instant impact and things started to improve very quickly for him. He claimed multiple Pro Tour titles and reached the Quarter-finals of three different majors. He also matched Van Gerwen toe-to-toe on more than one occasion. He was considered one of the hottest new talents.

Some say that the turning point came after the unfortunate defeat to Peter Wright in a European
Tour final. It is certain that the quarter-final in the World Grand Prix, a few months later, was his last
big success. From then on he did not play so often and consistently at a high level.

Despite these problems ‘Big Ben’ was able to achieve good results in the last two World
Championships, although the statistical values were not very good. In the other tournaments, during
the last two years, he has not produced many noteworthy performances or results.

Nevertheless, it is not yet completely hopeless for the 26-year-old Dutchman. This year he already
qualified for a European Tour event and achieved some good results at the ProTour.

If we are to see ‘Big Ben’ back on top, he has to prove that he can consistently perform and to the level he has shown previously. When this happens, it is conceivable that instead of falling, he will rise again.

  • Credit – Elias Wilhem (@ewlhlm83)
  • Feature Pix- Taylor Lanning

Elias is a darts enthusiast who has written and contributed to a variety of darts publications. Follow him on twitter to see what he is up to next.

DW Ed. (3rd June 2020 Article amended for structure and quality at author’s request.)

New Darts Magazine Launch: OCHE!

After years in the mind, and months of preparation, a new style of darts magazine is ready to go. OCHE! is the brain child of Phil Lanning. Long time sports journalist Phil, son of legendary commentator Dave, has been working flat out to see his ambition fulfilled.

Noticeable, from the off, is an ‘up market’ GQ meets OK styling, with an amphasis on innovative use of font, photography and graphics.

Interviews and clubs from top draw names, from players through to TV presenters together with those from the business itself, also feature heavily.

All-in-all it looks as if Phil, and his photographer son Taylor, have hit the bullseye.

(DW EiC): As a superb darts journalist and the son of a former Darts World stalwart, we wish Phil, Taylor and OCHE every success! (CJHH)