John Fowler & The Incredible Journey. Our BDO Official’s Column Continues.

John Fowler – @jayeffmc

Hello again everyone, I hope that you enjoyed my introductory account of how I got involved in the refereeing/MC’ing side of darts. This time I would like to tell you about some of the more exciting journeys I have made during my darting odyssey.

Taking nothing away from all of the other events, a particular example stands out. In November 2016 I was very fortunate to be invited to fly the 11 and a half hour journey to Tokyo and officiate at the PDJ final qualifying event for Ally Pally. My hosts were fantastic and I even had time to visit the city including the famous (and very high!) the Sky Tree Tower for some wonderful views of Tokyo. Great restaurants were certainly on the menu, you would never know from looking at me. I was very proud to be invited to return in September 2017 and repeat an unforgettable experience. The ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ is truly an amazing place to officiate.

For the last 3 years, I have done both the German and Swiss Open weekends and I have a great story from the 2nd German Open (The 1st one at Kalkar). I was refereeing a stage game in the afternoon between Tony O’Shea and a Swedish player I can only remember as Patrick. It was 3-3 and in the final leg Tony started with 100, his opponent replied with 81. Tony then hit treble 20, treble 20 and before he threw his last dart the stage went into total darkness. I heard Tony say “Oh darn it!”, or words to that effect, and threw his 3rd dart while it was still dark. As the dart hit the board, the lighting returned and yes you’ve guessed it “ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY “.

Among many highlights in my near seven years as a professional MC are 2 superb visits to Galway, always a brilliant crowd of crazy and funny people. I’ve been as far North as Fraserburgh and Keith in Scotland, again brilliant experiences and crowds. Malta has also proven enjoyable, twice, and last year I had a late call up for Luxembourg as Marco Meijer had unfortunately picked up a back injury. Glad to say that he has recovered from that. Visiting Athens in March this year, for the inaugural Greek Festival of Darts, meant working within the sight of the Acropolis and I have to learn the Syrtaki (Zorba’s Dance) for next year, don’t ask!

Shortly, I will be working again with one of our most entertaining dart players, Hawaii 501 himself Wayne Mardle. Anyone that has seen Wayne, in exhibition play, will know that one of his party tricks is to blow the dart into the board with his mouth. I have worked with Wayne on many occasions now and he has actually blown the dart into the winning double on at least 10 occasions. As ever, I have had the best view in the house! 

Until next month, stay healthy and happy. Hopefully, I’ll see you at an event soon. 

Follow John on twitter at @jayeffmc or look him up on facebook. An extended version of John’s Column will be in a forthcoming edition of Darts World Magazine ( Print Edition) Subscribe here:https://www.dartsworld.com/product/magazine/