Decadia: John Lowe and the 1970s

Darts World Magazine has regularly contained a sup[plement or ‘pullout’ since its redevelopment in July 2020. For DW577 we looked back at 6 decades of World Championships:

1970s – John Lowe: 3 x World Champion (BDO)

Just 24 players arrived at the Heart of the Midlands Club in Nottingham to compete for the inaugural World Championships. The year was 1978 and John Lowe was amongst them.

On that occasion it was the late, great Leighton Rees who claimed the title, defeating Lowe in the final. 

But the following year, Lowe got his hands on the biggest prize in World darts and revenge on the player who denied him just twelve months earlier.

Reminiscing, Lowe said: “To me, the 1979 final against Leighton was much more than that. Having lost to him in the previous final, I felt I’d a lot to prove.

“At the end of the afternoon session, I was 3-0 up in sets in a race to five. Peter Dyke from the sponsors Embassy asked me if I would throw a set to give the evening crowd value for money, I immediately said NO. And proceeded to win 5-0.” 

“Claiming your first World Championship is a great achievement for any player. But for me, I knew I needed another to prove to everyone that I was a worthy champion. 

Boasting a magnificent record of 28 consecutive World Championship appearances, Lowe was also the first player to win one in three separate decades. 

After claiming his maiden World crown in 1979, he went on to lift the trophy in 1987 and again in 1993. John added:

“Of course, eventually I went on to win three in total and must point out, runner-up on five occasions too. 

Only Phil Taylor has since matched that impressive accomplishment. And if you are on a darting shortlist of just two people with that fella, then you know you’ve achieved something special.

For the game to become the global phenomenon is it today, there needed to be a yesterday. The stars we now see on our screens stand on the foundations built by legends. 

Perhaps poetically, the man famously nicknamed ‘Old Stoneface’ will be forever immortalised upon the darting Mount Rushmore.


If you would like to know more about the wonderful life and career of the great John Lowe MBE, you can order his book entitled, ‘The Nine Dart Legend’. Contact John directly on for more details.

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