London Pride: Return of The Pearly King

By The Pearly King 15/04/2021

Welcome readers, to the first “London Pride” column in quite some time!

When the column last appeared, London was pushing for promotion to the BICC Premier Division and lying second in the table as the season was drawing to a tense finale with four teams vying for the two promotion places on offer. The season was then suspended as a result of the Covid pandemic, which saw the darts world as a whole placed in limbo.

Over the last few months. there have been significant changes as you would have no doubt seen and read across the various Darts World media platforms and elsewhere, with the sudden demise of the BDO and UKDA consequently becoming the new custodians of the amateur game, with MAD adding another avenue for players.

I have been watching the ongoing developments with keen interest, and the early indications are very positive. UKDA has certainly gone about the task in hand with real intent, and look to have implemented an extensive and highly competent management structure that will give all National League teams (as the counties will now be referred to) a very solid foundation to help both themselves and the amateur game as a whole grow and prosper throughout the coming years.

The Divisional Structure for the inaugural Darts Corner National League has now been released, and London will be competing in the Premier Division. Everyone is now eagerly waiting for the actual fixtures to be released once restrictions have eased sufficiently, especially with the Magic Weekend scheduled to conclude the season, where the last two matches for each team will be played. As soon as the fixtures are known, they will of course be included in future “London Pride” columns.

I personally think this is a fabulous concept and believe it will soon become a real focal point of attention, drawing interest from others outside of the sport, similar to what has happened in rugby league over the last fifteen years or so. I would like to think that there will be increased media interest as a result other than through the usual sources, which can only be a good thing as it would bring the many positive aspects of the amateur side of the sport to a wider audience.

With every team from both the Premier and Championship Divisions all in action at the same time, it will provide a fitting and exciting climax to the season and it throws up a mouth-watering prospect for players, officials, and spectators alike, with the possibility of so many games having a bearing on where a team finishes up in the table. Certainly, a large venue would be needed, with a lot of to-ing and fro-ing from people trying to see how their rivals are faring and relaying the information back to their own team!

The new season is scheduled to begin, all being well, in early September.

In the meantime, stay safe, and in the immortal words of the late London referee Alex Day, “May your (Online) darts fly straight and true”.


“The Pearly King” (supported by Darts GB)


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