In next months DartsWorld Dr Darts, Patrick Chaplin pays fulsome tribute to Olly Croft (OBE). Here is a section of the piece:
For more than forty-five years there has been no more charismatic or controversial character in world darts than Olly Croft OBE.
I was privileged to have met Olly on a number of occasions and always found him to be very amenable and helpful and, not surprisingly, so passionate about the sport he loved. From the early 1970s Olly and his colleagues on the BDO transformed darts and, naturally, we are all extremely grateful for that.
When Olly first joined a darts team in the London Super League in 1967 he was hooked and soon became involved with the organisation of the league. At that time darts was in the doldrums and although there was an extant national darts association it was floundering and becoming ineffective. Olly, a self-made businessman, visualised the potential of darts and set about changing the game forever. He had ‘massive aspirations’ for darts locally, nationally and globally and he was to achieve them all.
After several meetings with interested parties during 1971 and 1972, Olly invited darts organisers from across the country to meet at his home in Muswell Hill in north London in January 1973 to formally discuss the setting up of a new national darts organisation. The British Darts Organisation (BDO) was established and from that day forth the game of darts was transformed, first into a national and subsequently, by the establishment of the World Darts Federation (WDF) in 1977, a world sport. Darts was no longer bound to the public house. It was all around, at live venues and on television. The world was becoming one huge oche………
The Full version of this tribute will appear in next months edition of Darts World.