The Darts World 50 – 1986 Welcomes A New Master

In Bob Anderson, darts had finally found its fourth musketeer. With Eric beginning to struggle, John being the ‘dull one’ and Jocky off the rails, a new injection of character and skill was needed to bolster the ‘big three’. Up stepped ‘The Limestone Cowboy’.

Others had tried to make up the magical quartet but had failed to cement their place over the long run. Dave Whitcombe had threatened and Keith Deller had a strong ‘guest’ role but Anderson was different. Bob had sussed professional darts instinctively. His ability, of the first order, was immediately supplemented with a fun Nickname, eye-catching clothes, and trademark celebration after each great shot. Bob even seemed to realise, early on, that the obvious role for the ‘fourth man’ was a bit of a ‘black hat’.

Within two years the former javelin thrower was winning the Winmau World Masters and entering a spell of success that would take him to the very top as well as back to this very stage for many a return visit. This combination of superb ability, aggressive competitiveness and a dash of flair, ensured Bob received plenty of coverage within our pages. Even the landmark Issue 170 featured him heavily. 

It’s worth noting the nice piece celebrating the success and style of Richie Gardner on this page. The Welshman bounced into the top echelons of the game and soon proved very popular indeed. And the first appearance of Harith Lim!

Over the next decade and more Bob would compete with three generations of darting legends. The ‘Limestone Cowboy’ stood tall in two codes and was still reaching the World Championship semi-finals almost 20 years later.

Anyone doubting the value of the first generation of iconic professionals need only to witness the reaction of the crown at the Circus Tavern in February 2022 when Bob produced a fabulous 180, and his trademark finger point, with his very last throw against eventual champion Robert Thornton.

Bob Anderson during the World Seniors Darts Championship at the Circus Tavern, Purfleet on the 4th of February 2022.

The crowd where instantly on their feet and the noise took us back to those raucous early PDC World Championships in the same venue. With one throw Bob Anderson had united close ot fifty years of modern darts and at least three generations of fans.


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’.

The Darts World 50 will be available to order (Here) from November 15th 2022 with release and delivery expected in early December


Images: Featured –Darts World.

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