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Scot Nosh And Brilliant Blackpool

Автор Сид Уодделл (Sid Waddell) 19 Марта 2007 05:30

Scot Nosh And Brilliant Blackpool
It has been a few days of pure nostalgia for the Geordie Lip. I have waxed lyrical in the land of Sir Walter Scott and Country and Western in the old stomping ground of George Formby.

Last Wednesday saw me striding along Princes Street in Edinburgh thinking up Celtic witticisms and breathing in pure air from the hills round Lammermuir. I was getting ready to MC a bonding night for investing customers of a big German bank. The lads and lasses played darts on eight boards, supped steadily and were coached by Bob Anderson and Peter Manley. Above us twinkled delicate bratiches, and one could well imagine Robert Lewis Stevenson himself dancing a gavotte on the elegant boards of the Assembly Rooms.

For supper we had individual pots of haggis and neeps and then I had an early night. Because the PDL at Blackpool beckoned…

The fun started at noon on Thursday on Preston station. As I snuggled into my scarf against the drizzle I was surrounded by darts fans, brandishing carriers full of sarnies and beer cans. I signed a load of autographs and gave a short symposium on the League during the journey.

It’s hard to describe the feeling I was suffused with when I entered the Winter Gardens at Blackpool. This was where Dennis Priestley lost a massive lead in the Matchplay final to the ‘Bald Eagle’ Larry Butler. This was where Phil Taylor did the nine-darter for £100,000. This was where Colin Lloyd hit 170 to win the Matchplay and where Rod Harrington, in his pomp, won back-to-back titles. I wiped a trickle of tears away with my second-best silk tie as I sought the commentary box up in the Gods.

And what a night the lads dished up onstage. Terry Jenkins took Adrian Lewis to the cleaners and was averaging 105 at the half way stage. Colin Lloyd just could not get any consistency against the cool Power, who did not play well but won 8-1! And how about Dennis the grinding Menace? I have never seen Barney’s body language look so limpid as it did during Den’s 8-4 victory. This was the match that got the 1700 punters palpitating, especially the five minute hiatus as they each tried to hit the Madhouse – Double One.

Dave Lanning and I had a ball on the last match. Our telly wide shot showed the dozens of chandeliers dripping gilded light on the rococo splendour of the venue. So, I decided to sing:

‘The crystal chandeliers light up the board against the wall…’

And Dave rose to the stimulus. ‘And we’ve got a merry crowd with us in this hall’.

And they actually pay us two old codgers for sitting there cracking wise in tungsten Heaven.

It sure beats working for a living.

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