THERE was really only one headline-grabbing event in darts in 1974, from our first issue of the year right the way through there are constant references, stories, and then reports and reviews to a new tournament.
The World Masters is one of the longest-running and most prestigious professional darts tournaments, which began that year – even before the current World Professional Championship (BDO/WDF). The tournament was soon sponsored by darts board manufacturer, Winmau, from 1975 until 2018, and with a timely flourish, they will rejoin at the events return this year.
Our 1974 article outlines the initial stages of this venerable event and gives a clue to the processes going on behind the scenes at the time.
The World Masters is unusual in darts in that its sets are the best of 3 legs (first to 2) rather than the standard best of 5 legs (first to 3). The championship was previously the final leg of the BDO’s Grand Slam title of televised majors, along with the Topic International Darts League, the Bavaria World Darts Trophy and the Lakeside World Professional Championship.
However, it later became one of only three major BDO events and was/is considered to be the second biggest WDF affiliated tournament after the World Championship.
As announced in that previous issue, from 1974, the World Masters had grown out of the British Masters and was now ready to be expanded.
Added to the News of the World, and TV’s Indoor League, there was a definite groundswell of high-profile events emerging, which formed the basis of what was the ‘elite circuit’ for the next few years.
The special cover of our 20th issue was taken from the design of the World Master badge that was produced. These have been produced for many occasions, and organisations, over the years and are the subject of many collectors’ dreams.
The champion is referred to as the World Master.
The Darts World 50
Very few publications can lay claim to being “The Official Voice” of their sport. But then not many are almost 50 years old and have coexisted side by side with the object of their affection throughout the swings and roundabouts of two golden eras and at least one near collapse.
In the early 1970s, a handful of ingredients were coming together to form the recipe for the massive success of the hitherto lesser-known pub game. Darts World Magazine was one of those ingredients.
Editor, proprietor, and instigator, Tony Wood, welcomed readers to the new Darts World magazine for our November/December 1972 debut (Issue 1). The ingredients mentioned above could all be seen within those first 36 pages and then in every issue that followed.
DW has chronicled the ups and downs, the major events, and the minutiae while championing the game at every opportunity.
The Darts World 50 offers 50 highlights selected direct from our pages during what must now be thought of as the ‘Golden Age/s of Darts’.
Alan Towe (who writes with the support of Red Dragon Darts has been associated with Darts World for more than four decades. He has written a regular column, covered the Midlands scene, and written County reports for four different counties, often at the same time!
The Darts World 50 continues across all DW platforms.
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