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John Lowe Awarded MBE


DARTS legend John Lowe has been awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours list for services to darts and to charity.

One of the elite group of darts players to become a three-time World Champion, Lowe's achievements came across three decades with victories in 1979, 1987 and 1993.

Lowe, now 73, was also the World Masters champion twice and News of the World Championship winner, but is arguably best-known for his achievement in recording the first televised nine-darter at the 1984 MFI World Matchplay.

The famous footage of Lowe's perfect leg against Keith Deller, commentated upon by Dave Lanning, continues to enjoy worldwide airplay as a landmark moment for the sport.

He retired from competing on the PDC circuit at the end of 2007, having been a semi-finalist in the World Championship, World Matchplay and World Grand Prix after being one of the founder players following darts' split.

Lowe was inducted into the PDC Hall of Fame alongside great rival Eric Bristow MBE in 2005 and had enjoyed a 30-year professional career.

"I was away in Cyprus on holiday when the letter arrived and my son passed on the message, and I couldn't believe it to be quite honest," said Lowe.

"It took a while to sink in and I think it will only become real when I go to the Palace and collect the award.

"It's such an honour for me and a wonderful thing to receive."

The nine-darter remains one of darts' most famous moments, and Lowe added: "It's still something people talk to be about and it's tremendous.

"You hear that millions of people have seen it on YouTube, and although I've not been on TV for over a decade it keeps you remembered because fathers show it to their kids.

"I don't think it's every going to be forgotten anyway because it was the first TV nine-darter and you always remember the first more than anything.

"It's still mentioned now and another programme which keeps us players remembered is Bullseye, which is still being shown.

"People stop me in the supermarket and tell me that they saw me on Bullseye the previous evening, and things like that are lovely."

Lowe's MBE comes at the end of the year which saw Bristow pass away, and he added that it was a poignant moment to be recognised alongside his close friend, who was awarded an MBE in 1989.

"We had a great rivalry and it's the foundation of what we've got today," said Lowe. "We didn't do it purposely, it was just us being who we were.

"That's the tinge of sadness, that Eric is not here. We would have had the biggest party.

"Mike Watterson, who set up the World Championship originally with the BDO and also helped set up the World Snooker Championship, had proposed me but I know that Eric had supported that nomination, which means a lot.

"We played together all over the world, and are the most successful pair ever in darts - we won six World Cups, six European Cups, the British Open three times in a row without losing.

"It would have been fitting if he was here to celebrate, but sadly he's left us."

Lowe continues to play darts on the exhibition circuit and in charity events, and recently visited China alongside fellow former World Champion Dennis Priestley.

"I've just come back from China, where I was with Dennis Priestley for a competition out there which was on TV, and there were 37 million viewers when we played," he added.

"It's quite amazing and to still be involved is incredible. I've not played competitively on TV for over ten years, so to be asked to go to China and to get such a reception was great.

"I've been there a few times and darts has taken me all over the world over the last four decades. It's been an amazing journey."

Lowe remains a huge fan of the sport and has been following the William Hill World Darts Championship avidly over the festive period.

He said: "Someone suggested to me recently that all past champions should receive an invitation to the World Championship, like they do in The Masters golf.

"I know that one golfer was 94 years old and he replied that he was honoured to be invited but declined. If I was asked to play in the PDC World Championship, I would probably decline.

"I watched the game between Gary Anderson and Chris Dobey and it was incredible, and you have got to consider that if you did accept, you would be in that company.

"I think it would still be nice for people to be invited but they'd have to make their own mind up if they were quite good enough to play at that standard.

"The game has progressed and everything about the game is bigger and better now."





The darting world has caught another glimpse of the talent that is Jeffrey de Zwaan.

The Dutch ace swept to a sensational victory as the PDC Unicorn Development Tour resumed in Wigan.

He won event 5 in some style, producing an incredible SEVEN consecutive ton plus averages!

The Unicorn ace was unbeatable. In a semi-final whitewash of Ciaran Teehan, he averaged 112 and then followed up with a 110 average in beating Geert Nentjes 5-3 in the final.

De Zwaan looked set for a double but lost a last leg decider to Luke Humphries in the quarter-finals of event 6, which was won by Australian Corey Cadby.

PDC Unicorn Development Tour 8 and 9 were won by Ryan Meikle and Callan Rydz.

Team Unicorn’s Harry Ward reached the semi-finals of event 7 before losing a last leg decider to Meikle.


Meanwhile Team Unicorn youngster Ted Evetts enjoyed his best run at a European Tour event.

He reached the quarter-finals of the German Darts Grand Prix in Munich and came within an ace of one of the biggest wins of his career. Evetts came from 2-5 down to force a last leg decider against Michael van Gerwen but ultimately lost 6-5.

Van Gerwen went on to win a 30th Euro Tour title as he beat Simon Whitlock 8-3 in the final.

Evetts saw off Mark Wilson, Jonny Clayton and Ricky Evans en route to the last eight.

There was another Euro Tour quarter-final for Joe Cullen. He eventually lost 6-1 to Whitlock.

Kim Huybrechts made the last 16 where he was beaten 6-3 by Max Hopp


James Wade is locked in a thrilling battle to claim a Premier League play-off spot.

‘The Machine’ is currently in third spot on leg difference ahead of Gerwyn Price and Mensur Suljovic with all three on 14 points. Daryl Gurney is also in the mix just two points behind.

Sadly Michael Smith’s race looks to be run. His defeat to Price in Cardiff leaves him well adrift.

Round-up by STUART PYKE




Interesting feedback from our visit to Flight Club in Bloomsbury was the amount of usage the dartboards are getting.

When the venue is open for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week it’s fair to suggest each board is used quite extensively. The Unicorn Eclipse Pro (add website link) is the Dartboard of choice at Flight Club and its durability is evident given these numbers.

1,000,000 darts are thrown at Flight Club, Bloomsbury every 6 weeks – yes that’s correct 1,000,000 darts. The dartboards are not rotated and they have 9 Oche situated around the venue, what better road test can you get.

Do the math – that’s 110,000 darts into a Unicorn Eclipse Pro Dartboard every 6 weeks. We at Unicorn Australia think that’s a strong endorsement of the Eclipse Pro as a board that meets expectation. The image below is after 5 weeks of use with no rotation.



A product very well received at the Unicorn 2018 launch in Nottingham was the NEW Pro Dartmate 2 fully portable Dart Stand.

This free standing unit features a Tournament style raised oche and toe line. Along with the Dart & Accessory tray a scoreboard, chalk and wiper are included.

It can also be positioned on a wall and can set up in minutes with its push pin locking system.

Great for club and event use or a very neat home set up for the man cave. With an RRP $499 this versatile stand could be the answer to your club’s needs.



It was wonderful to visit recently in London while there for the Unicorn 2018 launch.

Dan & Kate were very hospitable and opened the doors for me to look around before trading hours which was appreciated.

Flight Club is a spectacular set up and sure to be the ‘end of the rainbow’ for any darts lover. A friendly atmosphere and a quality fit out that took 8 months to bring to fruition.

Unicorn is of course proud to be the ‘official board’ of Flight Club with the Eclipse Pro being Board of choice at Flight Club venues.

Flight Club Bloomsbury is located at 55 New Oxford Street, London WC1A 1BS, it’s towards the east end of Oxford Street.