In the week of World Senior Darts’ inaugural World Championship, Darts World spoke to a ‘defending Champion in Bob Anderson and a brand new qualifier in the person of Richie Howson.
Breaking in a new era:
When you look down the bill for the World Seniors Darts Championship, it is hard not to get excited. In many senses, it’s a promoter’s dream: 11 former world champions joined by some of the game’s most recognisable faces from yesteryear. It is an event that has been long desired by many in the game, and long in the making, but it’s almost here.
So what to expect? To get a good grounding, I spoke to two competitors: 1988 world champion Bob Anderson and one of the amateur qualifiers, former PDC Tour Card holder Richie Howson. Here is what they had to say about one of the most anticipated events of the year.
DW: The prospect of a World Seniors Championship is a huge one and one that is getting darts fans extremely excited. How pleased were you to hear about the event and be offered a place in it? And are you hopeful that this can be a great step in the right direction for this side of the game especially considering the successes in snooker?
Bob: The World Seniors is indeed a huge step in the right direction. I do however feel that it could and should have been taken in 2009. Then, myself and others could have enjoyed a decent extension to our careers from a competitive standpoint. I am however looking forward to locking horns again!
The last event of any real relation to this was the League of Legends, an event you of course won back in 2008. Do you see yourself as a bit of an unofficial defending champion seeing as this was the last time we saw a televised seniors ‘major’, and what do you make of this field of competitors compared to the last?
I won the inaugural League of Legends which was televised by Setanta and then in the following year Keith Deller was successful, although it was not televised. So technically I guess he is the ‘defending champion’ so to speak!
Bob Anderson will begin the 2022 World Seniors Darts Championship on Thursday evening when he plays Robert Thornton in round one
DW: This is of course a time of a lot of change for the options on the table for those not within the Pro Tour 128, so it must feel really exciting to be a part of this first World Seniors Championship?
Richie: When I qualified for the World Seniors Championship in Reading, I made a conscious decision not to attend Q School as I am really excited about playing in this tournament and of course on that iconic Circus Tavern stage. It is fantastic that us over 50s have been given a chance to play on a tour with open comps and senior majors, it is really an exciting time.
There is such a rich field of competitors for this event. What will it be like to share a stage with many of the game’s greatest from years gone, and will you be looking to do some damage as a qualifier?
I feel like I have done the hard part coming through the qualifiers. It was such a tough field of players with some top names amongst them. I can go up on that stage now and really enjoy the experience, not that I am saying I’m not there to try and win it, of course, I will, as will all the other competitors. I’m putting a lot of time in on the practice board and hopefully, I can replicate the form I am producing on the big stage.
And finally, am I right in saying you live just a few minutes from the Circus Tavern itself? Will you be having lots of family and friends attending the event to support you?
Yes, I live about a two-minute drive from the Tavern and I know I will have loads of support from family and friends on the night to spur me on. Being a local player, I will hopefully have the neutrals to get behind me.
Richie Howson begins his World Seniors campaign on Thursday evening against Darryl Fitton in round one
The prospect of a whole new circuit in the game is one that is clearly being willingly embraced by many of the game’s ‘seniors’, for different reasons. It only extends the variety of options provided not just for the viewer, but for the player, and if it can click, it will provide a huge boost for the game.
The four days of the competition at ‘The Circus’ will hopefully mark the beginnings of a wonderful new era in the continuing evolution of darts, and we all can’t wait to see what happens on the oche.
Words: Thomas Bartley, Image: World Snr Darts
Darts World Magazine (Issue 577) and 2022 bundle offers
Subscribe or purchase your copy