The "News of the World"

The "News of the World" is till today one of the best-known tournaments though it was played for the last time already in 1996/97.

The tournament has quite a long history. It was played for the first time in 1927/28. Probably nobody would have predicted it would run for such a long time.
In 1927 the English Sunday paper "News of the World" and the C.N.Kidd and Sons Brewery in Dartford had joined forces to support with the help of the tournament the pubs which showed at that time signs of weakness. Pub leagues already existed for some time after the first World War and often local tournaments were played. On the first "News of the World" tournament players from all London could take part. In the end it were around 1000 players who entered and first decided their pub champions and then areal champions who were invited to the final.

Thanks to the success the tournament spread further and further. In 1936/37 six regions took part: London and the South, Wales, Lancashire and Cheshire, Yorkshire, the North and the Midlands. In 1938/39 the number of participants had grown to 280 000 players. The regional final of the London and the South region was waited for with anticipation. 14.534 spectators squeezed into the Royal Agricultural Hall in London to see the final between Jim Pike and Marmaduke Brecon.

During the second World War the tournament was suspended but some of the crowd favourites travelled as "Tour of Champions"(Jim Pike, John Rosse, Harry Head, Leo Newstaed) through Great Britain to collect money for charities.
At this time darts was due to the tournament getting more and more popular and the soldiers played tournaments in the army camps according the rules of the "News of the World". So the allies (mainly from the USA, New Zealand and Australia) got to know the sport and after the war brought darts back to their home countries.

In 1947/48 the tournament was taken up again and changed into a national Championship. Over 300 000 players entered for the first round which was played in pubs, canteens and clubs. The second round were smaller local tournaments followed by regional finals. The regional winners then were invited to the Grand Finals in London. One of the venues was in 1963 - 1977 the Alexandra Palace (where now-a-days the PDC plays its World Championship), a few years later it was Wembley Arena (where the finals of the PDC Premier League are played). To the Grand Finals up to 17.000 fans turned up.

Before Sky Sport started to televise the tournament people could follow it on radio and later on the final was recorded for TV. At the beginning of the 1970s Sky Sport started to televise darts tournaments. There was an unbelievable dart boom in Great Britain which suddenly stopped again in the 1980's so that TV withdrew. The "News of the World" felt the end of the boom only much later in 1990 when Sky Sport decided to stop to televise the tournament because people were no longer interested. That left for the players only one TV tournament - the BDO World Championship. Players got frustrated with their situation and with the BDO and the split in darts happened.

The "News of the World" were suspended after the final in 1990, which was the first year a ladies tournament was played as well. 1996/97 one tried to take it up again and the winner was Phil Taylor. His price money was 42.000 pound...

Taylor said after the final that winning this tournament meant much more to him then all his at this time five World Championship titles together - the "News of the World" just were the tournament one had to win during those years it existed. And it was a tournament a simple pub player had the same chances to win as a darting hero due to the short format. The matches consisted throughout of three legs 501. Before the first leg the players threw for the bull to decide who would begin and should a third leg be necessary they did it again before the third leg.
The tournament was organised mainly by employees of "News of the World" and their unpaid helpers - and to be sure a lot of work it was - who all were invited to the Grand Finals.

Around 1950 Unicorn started to produce Signature Darts of the then "Darting Heroes" which were much in demand. Players who had thrown a 180 got a certificate. There was a close bond to Unicorn which showed as well when Unicorn signed a contract with two of the winners - first with Tom Barrett and some years later with Barry Twomlow - who then helped Unicorn to promote the sport of darts all over the world.

After the second World War a few international players took part in the tournament as well, Stefan Lord from Sweden even won it twice something which beside him only six other players achieved: Tommy Gibbons, Tom Reddington, Tom Barret, Eric Bristow, Bobby George and Mike Gregory.

A lot of the participants especially of the early years are today almost unknown and not much is known about them, but at their time they were unbelievable popular. An exception is Jim Pike, who reached during and after the second World War the peak of his careers and who is not forgotten till today.

Tournament Winners
YearRegionWinnerRunner up
1927/28LondonSammy Stone (New South-West Ham Club) B Haigh (Victoria Inn, Kensington)
1928/29LondonJ.Hoare (Duke's Head, East Twickenham)L.Lee (New Eltham SC)
1929/30LondonC.Bowley (Shakespeare's Head, Finsbury)W.H.Gentry (St Pancras)
1930/31LondonTommy Nye (Tankerville Arms, Kennington)R.Wright (Hampstead)
1931/32LondonJack Hood (Hood's Dartboards, Bow)George Branch (Tottenham)
1932/33LondonKenny Enever (Bull, Mitcham)F.Wearn (Bricklayer's Arms, Putney)
1933/34LondonFred Metson (Hanbury Arms, Islington)W.Rossiter (Wellington, New Cross)
1934/35LondonBilly Forecast (Duke of York, Bow)Jim Pike (Hope, Carshalton)
1935/36London/SouthPeter Finnigan (Eight Bells, Tolworth)Albert White (Weaver's Arms, Islington)
1936/37London/SouthStan Outten (Seven Kings Hotel, Ilford)T.Hares (Stag and Hounds, Ashford, Middx)
1936/37WalesD.Cornacia (Ivy Bush Hotel, Pontardawe)T.A.Jones (Llanerch Hotel, Llandrindod Wells)
1937/38London/SouthFred Wallis (Railway Hotel, Eastbourne)F.E.Betts (Waterman's Arms, Norwich)
1937/38WalesGwyn Jones (Unemployed Club, Penygraig)Jack Gorvett (Ferry Boat Inn, Briton Ferry)
1937/38LancashireSam McIntosh (Duke of York, Salford)Luke Ratcliffe (Commercial Hotel, Oldham)
1938/39London/SouthMarmaduke Breckon (Jolly Sailor, Hanworth)Jim Pike (Windmill Club, Southwark)
1938/39WalesCharlie Parker (Castle Inn, Pontywaun)Horace Trickett (Old Express Hotel, Merthyr)
1938/39Lancashire/CheshirePeter Birchall (St Peter's Liberal Club, Oldham)Jack Kirk (Sandon Arms, Heswall)
1938/39MidlandsHarry Prior (Duke's Head, Polebrook) H.Ball (Gardens Hotel, Stapenhill)
1938/39NorthJimmy Young (Wheatsheaf Hotel, Newcastle-u-Tyne)Tom Steel (Atlantic Hotel, West Hartlepool)
1938/39YorkshireJim Munroe (Vine Tree, Wakefield)George Johnson (Fisherman's Hut, Leeds)
Tournament suspended, 2.World War
1947/48National ChampionshipHarry Leadbetter (Windle Labour Club, St Helens)Tommy Small (Sth Durham Steel and Iron SC, West Hartlepool)
1948/49National ChampionshipJackie Boyce (New Southgate SC)Stan Outten (Dr Johnson, Barkingside)
1949/50National ChampionshipDixie Newberry (Albert, Hitchin)Ronnie Ridley (King Edward Hotel, Newcastle-u-Tyne)
1950/51National ChampionshipHarry Perryman (Home Office SC, Greenford) Laurie Runchman (Feathers, Felixstowe)
1951/52National ChampionshipTommy Gibbons (Ivanhoe WMC, Conisbrough) Jack Wallace (Low Seaton BL, Workington)
1952/53National ChampionshipJimmy Carr (Red Lion, Dipton)Ernest Greatbatch (Horse Vaults Hotel, Pontefract)
1953/54National ChampionshipOliver James (Ex-Servicemen's Club, Onllwyn) Johnny Bell (Sun, Waltham Abbey)
1954/55National ChampionshipTom Reddington (New Inn, Stonebroom)Johnny Bell (Sun, Waltham Abbey)
1955/56National ChampionshipTrevor Peachey (Black Fox, Thurston) Les Campbell (Boot, Dinas)
1956/57National ChampionshipAlwyn Mullins (Traveller's Rest, Tickhill)Len Baker (Corporation Hotel, Cardiff)
1957/58National ChampionshipTommy Gibbons (Ivanhoe WMC, Conisbrough) Eric Moss (Railway Tavern, Harleston)
1958/59National ChampionshipAlbert Welsh (Horden Hotel, Seaham)Frank Whitehead (White Rose Hotel, Rossington)
1959/60National ChampionshipTom Reddington (George Hotel, Alfreton) Dai Jones (Cambrian Hotel, Aberystwyth)
1960/61National ChampionshipAlec Adamson (Prince of Wales, Hetton-le-Hole)Eddie Brown (Magpie, Stonham)
1961/62National ChampionshipEddie Brown (Magpie, Stonham) Dennis Follett (Cadeleigh Arms, Cadeleigh)
1962/63National ChampionshipRobbie Rumney (Waterloo Hotel, Darlington)Bill Harding (Globe Hotel, Aberdare)
1963/64National ChampionshipTom Barrett (Odco SC, London)Ray Hatton (Flower of the Valley Hotel, Rochdale)
1964/65National ChampionshipTom Barrett (Odco SC, London)Norman Fielding (Station Inn, Swannington)
1965/66National ChampionshipWilf Ellis (Brookside WMC, Upton)Ron Langley (Arlington SC, Harlow)
1966/67National ChampionshipWally Seaton (Swan, Parson Drove)Brian Quarterman (Ivy Inn, North Littleton)
1967/68National ChampionshipBill Duddy (Rose and Thistle, Frimley Green) Gerry Feeney (Unicorn Club, Workington)
1968/69National ChampionshipBarry Twomlow (Red Lion, Chesterfield)Paul Gosling (William IV, Truro)
1969/70National ChampionshipHenry Barney (Pointers Inn, Newchurch, IoW) Alan Cooper (Plough, Filton)
1970/71National ChampionshipDennis Filkins (Barrow, Hepburn and Gale SC, Bermondsey) Derek White (Ship, Weymouth)
1971/72National ChampionshipBrian Netherton (Welcome Home Inn, Par)Alan Evans (Ferndale Hotel, Rhondda)
1972/73National ChampionshipIvor Hodgkinson (Great Northern, Langley Mill) Ron Church (Royal Alfred, Shoreditch)
1973/74National ChampionshipPeter Chapman (Bird in Hand, Henley)Paul Gosling (Portscatho Club, Truro)
1974/75National ChampionshipDerek White (Belvedere Inn, Weymouth)Bill Duddy (Frimley Green WMC)
1975/76National ChampionshipBill Lennard (Cotton Tree Inn, Manchester) Leighton Rees (Ynysybwl USC, Pontypridd)
1976/77National ChampionshipMick Norris (King of Denmark, Ramsgate)Bob Crosland (Blackamoor Head, Pontefract)
1977/78National ChampionshipStefan Lord (Stockholm Super Darts Club)John Coward (White Hart BL, Sedbergh)
1978/79National ChampionshipBobby George (King George V, Ilford)Alan Glazier (George and Dragon, Wetherby)
1979/80National ChampionshipStefan Lord (Stockholm Super Darts Club)Dave Whitcombe (Naval Club, Chatham)
1980/81National ChampionshipJohn Lowe (Willow Tree, Pilsley)Mick Norris (Earl St Vincent, Ramsgate)
1981/82National ChampionshipRoy Morgan (Wheel o' Worfield, Worfield)Jim Hughes (Parcwern Country Club, Ammanford)
1982/83National ChampionshipEric Bristow (Foaming Quart, Norton Green) Ralph Flatt (Old Red House, Carlton Colville)
1983/84National ChampionshipEric Bristow (Milton Hayes BC, Stoke-on-Trent) Ian Robertson (Bell, Marston Moretaine)
1984/85National ChampionshipDave Lee (Ivor Arms, Pontllanfraith)Dunbar (Woolwich Infant, London)
1985/86National ChampionshipBobby George (Old Maypole, Hainault)Rick Ney (US Darting Association)
1986/87National ChampionshipMike Gregory (Stones Cross Hotel, Midsomer Norton) Peter Evison (Halcyon/Spikes, Peterborough)
1987/88National ChampionshipMike Gregory (Stones Cross Hotel, Midsomer Norton)Kevin Spiolek (Cambridge Squash Club)
1988/89National ChampionshipDave Whitcombe (King's Head, Ipswich) Dennis Priestley (Horseshoe, Rotherham)
1989/90National/WomenLynne Ormond (George, Alford)Jane Stubbs (Roebuck Hotel, Northwich)
1989/90National/MenPaul Cook (Gorse Hill WMC, Swindon)Steve Hudson (Oakworth SC, Keighley)
Tournament suspended
1996/97National/WomenLinda Jones (Seven Stars, Chorley)Melanie Saunders (Railway Inn, Abergavenny)
1996/97National/MenPhil Taylor (Cricketer's Arms, Newcastle-under-Lyme) Ian White (Dockside Inn, Runcorn)

Contact © Global Darts. All Rights Reserved. Impressum