The Darts World 50 – 1980

Red Dragon Darts

Before 1980 Eric Bristow was already a star in the making, despite only being in his early 20s he was already a double World Master and had been a member of the English World Cup-winning team the year before.

From this victory and throughout the decade that followed Bristow dominated the game of darts both on and off the board. It’s fitting that the report of his first World Championship win dwells on a boast:

Eric’s Message: I’m Staying No.1

CRAFT COCKNEY Eric Bristow became the undisputed World number one darts player and then vowed he would remain champion throughout the 1980s.

The 22 year-old Londoner who ended the 70s as World Master and member of England’s World Cup winning side opened the 1980s by annexing the Embassy World professional title.

Bristow, the number 2 seed in the competition clinched the title that had so far eluded him in his sparkling eight-year career,  in the most exciting final in the three-year history of the event. More than 1500 people crammed into the plush setting of Jollee’s nightclub in Stoke on Trent to witness the battle of the two and eight seeds.

The final was a fitting climax to eight days of top-class darting which had produced all the shocks, excitement, ecstasy and frustration expected of such an event.

Bristow, hotly tipped to take the world crown became the odd-on favourite after defending champion John Lowe crashed out of the tournament to the shock man of the championship, Cliff Lazarenko.

Darts World Magazine: 1980 Issue 88

Including the landmark final above, which many claim to be the template for modern darts, Eric Bristow would appear in 8 out of 10 World Championship finals of the 1980s and 10 out of the next dozen held.

Add in that previously mentioned cockiness, arrogance, or unbridled self-confidence and it was clear to all, darts had found its first true icon.

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. In Text – PDC Europe

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