Belfast Telegraph

Colin Murray's back, by George

By Billy Weir

I make no bones about it, I love darts. Always have, always will. It's a sport, I don't care what anyone else says, it is a sport and it should be in the Olympics.

However when it comes to discussing the World Championships that reached their conclusion on Sunday evening on BBC2, things get a little trickier.

What's that I hear you cry, surely you've made a mistake, weren't the World Championships decided on New Year's Day when that nice Dutch chap dressed like Orville with the head like a cue ball beat that man with the daft haircut who looks like Woody Woodpecker?

Ahhhh. No, that was the PDC World Championships, the Olympics of darts.

What we had on Sunday was the BDO World Championships, the Commonwealth Games of darts, but despite that, it was still cracking entertainment. Hope then for Glasgow.

For those brought up on a diet (and that was quite a diet) of Eric Bristow, John Lowe, big Cliff Lazarenko, Jocky Wilson et al, the Lakeside Club in Frimley Green will always have a soft spot in our darting hearts.

It was there we returned on Sunday for the conclusion of nine days of action as Stephen 'The Bullet' Bunting took on rank outsider, Alan 'Chuck' Norris in the decider, all in the company of Colin Murray,

"Fancy dress and puffed out chests, beating hearts and world class darts. One-part pantomime, one-part soap opera and hopefully one-part thriller, today a new king will be crowned," he began, although most of us had stopped listening at 'world class' and began protesting.

To no avail as our protests were drowned out by the golden glare of Murray's co-host – or should that be cohort – Bobby George, another man who made the Lakeside great back in the day.

"Every year I'm a winner because I get to spend nine happy days and happy nights with the gentleman dazzler Bobby George," continued Colin as talk turned to his tuxedo.

"Excuse me, waiter, could I have two glasses of white wine please, ok yah?" chortled Bobby, with Colin urging him not to be cruel. No, what would have been cruel would have been Bobby asking was Mark Chapman waiting around the corner.

Talk, finally, turned to the darts, and red-hot favourite Bunting, who, we were told, had an 'early wobble' in the Championships, although that may have happened when he tripped over the oche.

"He's like a whippet out of the blocks, if he gets ahead of you Speedy Gonzalez couldn't catch him," added Colin, as engineers at Drumbo pondered just how much it would cost to widen the traps to fit this whippet and the lawyers of a Snr Gonzalez from Guadalajara began taking notes.

"Both men have dreamt of this moment, from the minute they threw their first three darts and probably scored 26," said Colin as we handed over to commentary duo, Vasos Alexander and the great Tony Green.

Pah, the days of 26 are long gone, this is the World Championships, as Bunting, who looks like the long lost son of Adrian Mole and Dave Whitcombe, hammered in a 45 with Norris hitting back with 26. This could be a long night.

It was shaping up that way, the opening six sets shared and what we lacked in scoring was made up for in excitement with Green pointing out that 'it's never over until the fat lady sings' or fat lads sling in this case.

"Bobby, Bobby, Bobby, we talk a lot of rubbish up here but I think we got it right for once," said a beaming Colin.

"Big, big, big dart, wasn't it? You know, a big dart, eh? Cor, Gordon Bennett," came the response. Money can't buy that sort of incisive punditry.

But before the Pearly Kings appeared, Colin was forced to tell us what else was coming up on the Beeb, including a plug for Match of the Day 2. He looked like he'd eaten a bucket of jellied eels.

However, the real emotion of the evening came when Chuck was eventually floored by the Bullet, and the tears flowed from Bunting as he was asked about his family, although it may been more to do with the fact that he was being interviewed by the world's most annoying man, Rob Walker.

"Behind every person who wins there are others who make sacrifices," said Murray as we returned to his lofty perch.

"I mean, you wouldn't be standing here with clothes on if it wasn't for Marie," he added, as Bobby guffawed and we all thanked Mrs George for saving us and like the darts, we drew a discreet veil over proceedings for another year. Or 11 months until the PDC returns.

Belfast Telegraph


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