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Автор Сид Уодделл (Sid Waddell) 30 Января 2007 05:33

I have rarely been more excited at this time of the year. It is apparently when people get most depressed as the Christmas bills come to roost and cold winds dispel what remains of the festive bonhomie. But if you’re a darts fan it’s Mardi Gras right through till May with the all-action Holsten Premier Darts League. We are starting at Plymouth on Thursday and I am licking the old Geordie lips.

My best line of the recent World Championship was, ‘It’s brutal. It’s vicious. But it’s a kind of poetry.’ That will do to set the tone for 15 weeks of sensational darts featuring the tungsten gallacticos. I hope this list doesn’t faze any of the lads because I’m known in some circles as The Black Spot.


The 22-year-old from Stoke is the wunderkind of the pack and a born showman. He is a world champ in the making - as vivid as Alan Evans and as theatrical as Jocky Wilson in his bonny bouncing prime. Watch out for his ‘Blind 180 Shot’ where he hits the third 60 looking at his opponent! Must not get carried away by the occasion. Should write ‘Chill’ in big letters near his practice board.


It’s great to see my old mucker in the elite group. A few years back we did exhibitions together for Vaux brewery and Dennis found I was the worst counter in the game! By hard practice Dennis has put his eye trouble behind him and is still good at switching to the 18s. Will have the noisiest fans.


Colin should be at his best in the short format game. He is very much a momentum player, but like Kevin Pietersen his shot selection is sometimes off kilter.

Colin went out of the world championship 4-3 to Barney due to not being able to alter his pace. He rushed the game. There must be a more patient choice of shots at key moments.


Pete has an amazing eye but sometimes his ‘rocking’ style puts him off balance. He is the game’s top entertainer and I reckon this leads to his downfall on occasions. At Purfleet he seemed to be taking his match against Havenga as an exhibition; his practice, which I watched carefully, seemed to lack focus. But his casual brilliance will light up the competition.


On his day a fantastic 180 hitter but he is not at his best when chasing a game. A bit like Lloyd, Roland seems to lose his way in tight matches. But his style is immaculate. He rarely loses the line to the 60 bed.


Terry has worked hard to make this company and is very strong mentally. That Oliver Hard grin hides a tough attitude. He was at his best in the World Grand Prix final in Ireland where he made The Power work hard for victory.


He has never lost a single match in the two years the Premier Darts League has been running. In 2005 Lloyd forced a draw with him and Barney did the same in 2006.

Phil has been practising non-stop since losing his world crown and I hear he is on the old keep fit, rabbit food kick again. But, knowing him, I bet there’s a bit of juicy liver and warm oatcakes in the mix.

The ‘stacking’ must be better than it was in the world final.


I have looked at the tape of his triumph over Phil at Purfleet umpteen times and cannot credit how PURE his 21 180s were. No stacking or rebounds for Barney, he fills the bed as cleanly as Alan Evans used to. To be averaging 90 for three sets in a world final then to push to an end average of 101 was magical.

And how about the Barney Army? Half of Holland will be at our venues and the legions of Ray’s British fans.


I’m off now to do my daily six pages of darting nostalgia for my book BELLIES AND BULLSEYES which will be published by Ebury in July. I am handing in the MSS on 14 February and have about 55 pages to go.

It will contain portraits of the greats, funny stories, serious bits about the big dispute and 300 of the best Sidisms. I’m having fun looking back through all the yellowing bits of paper dating back to 1972 and the outrageous Indoor League.

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1. JLO at 20:47 on 4th February 2007
Дартс без Сида – то же самое, что и пустыня без песка!! Дартс очень зрелищен, а комментарии Сида – это то, то никогда не хочется терять!!

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