Has anyone spent longer at number one in the world than the seven and half years managed by Eric Bristow? Issue 176 of Darts World magazine recorded the Crafty Cockney being knocked off the top in 1987, with the ‘Limestone Cowboy’ Bob Anderson replacing him.
Reigning World Master, Anderson was in the middle of a superb spell of darts. A hattrick of Winmau World Master’s titles, and soon after, the World Championship, would come his way!
In case you’re thinking this was the end of Eric, don’t rush to write off the five-time world champion. Before the end of the decade, the Crafty Cockney would again be setting records and making news.
This mid-late eighties period was the purple patch of Bob Anderson, who joined the immortals of the game during his dominant days, and he should be given due credit.
To this day 100 not out in terms of county ( National League ) caps is a sought after achievement. Indeed, Darts World is aware of least one very successful player whose only regret about pursuing a PDC career is that he was left in the nineties.
Notice that Linda Batten is named first and that reaching the milestone is treated equally and without favor.Surrey collecting the County Championship is also covered in the article above, with them finishing on a high note.
The confirmation of two tabacco related sponsors as the main sponsors for the following years demonstrates both darts’ dependence on such sponsorship, akin to betting today, and that it was still considered worthwhile to the sponsors to back non TV events.
It’s interesting to note that lessons seem to have been learned, the PDC has managed to dilute the betting sponsorship reasonably effectively in order that should there be an outright ban, or restrictive rules, the game will not be left high and dry.
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