Tuesday, August 01, 2017


Many Brigg folk watched exciting Sky Sports TV coverage from Blackpool of the World Matchplay tournament which saw Phil "The Power" Taylor sweep to victory on Sunday night, just a couple of weeks short of his 57th birthday and only a few months before he retires from the sport as its greatest player of all time, having won  both top  titles 16 times.
That got us thinking about other famous darts players who have appeared in Brigg during recent years.
Champions Rod Harrington and Dennis Priestley took on local players at Brigg Servicemen's Club.
Dennis later returned to do likewise at Brigg Town FC's Hawthorns clubhouse.
Although only spectating/reporting on the Servicemen's event, we were honoured to grace the oche at the latter  and take on Dennis "The Menace" who hails from South Yorkshire.
We opened with a treble 19 but should have declared at that point as the former world champ soon cleaned up and sent us back to the bar to drown our sorrows.
Back in the 1980s we played darts regularly in the Brigg League for the Queen's Arms.
This was a small hostelry and the dartboard was right next to the main entrance, meaning that games had to halt while new customers arrived or regulars headed for the toilets at the rear of the pub.
Contrast that with the recent Matchplay tournament at the spacious Winter Gardens, Blackpool.
This vibrant venue in the lovely Lancashire seaside resort and the Queen's in Brigg were  built in the same era - 1860s/70s.
The Victorians left us some wonderful buildings and in 1878 remodelled Brigg Grammar School.
The date stone is still there above the original front door at what is now Sir John Nelthorpe School.
Sadly, another Victorian 'build' - Brigg Corn Exchange - was not so fortunate, being demolished in the early 1990s during the tenure of Glanford Borough Council.
The Corn Exchange would have made an ideal darts tournament venue for a visit by The Power and other top names from the world of darts.
Too small for that purpose, Brigg Buttercross was completed two decades before Queen Victoria's reign began.

PICTURED ABOVE: Former world darts No 1  Dennis 'The Menace' Priestley, right, with  'King' Kenny Bowers during the darts night at Brigg Town FC in 2011. BELOW: The champ after playing Clive Humphrey.


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