Harris Sportsthoughts

Thoughts about Sport

Good Night With The Viennese

with 2 comments

There are two World Darts Championships in the sporting calendar and they happen virtually simultaneously just after Christmas. It creates a kind of darting chemical reaction, the primary result of which is a massive surge in interest in the sport. Visit any good sporting emporium in the New Year and the darts will be flying out of the door. So watch yourself.

It’s the reason why Great Britain is so rubbish at the Winter Olympics.

My friends and I are impressionable folk: we get caught up in the whole craze. So we get tooled up with our arrows and head down to the nearest suitable establishment. Which is the Princess Alice pub on Commercial St in East London.

We were down there other night cheering on a 59-dart finish or a checkout of 4, when I became aware of a pair of unsavoury-looking types lurking near to the oche. They looked suspiciously at us: and it didn’t seem to be just the standard of darts.  Worried speculation grew amongst our mob that we may have inadvertently stepped on the darting manor of some latter-day Krays. Or more frightening still, Mitchells. So we hurriedly finished our game and waved them onto the dartboard. It transpired then that they weren’t Cockney gangsters at all. They weren’t even from London.

They’d flown in that afternoon from Vienna on what they called their ‘London Dart-Exkursion’, which roughly translates from the Austrian as ‘a trip to London to play darts’. And they were catching the night flight that evening back from Stansted to their homeland.

They wanted to play in the East End: they considered here to be the cradle of darts. So they found the Princess Alice on the internet and over they came. I think they expected wall-to-wall dartboards and possibly Eric Bristow somewhere in the vicinity. Instead they found one mouldering board and me, who had just thrown 27 darts at double one. And it’s my favourite double.

I hadn’t realised that there was a tradition of darts in Austria, but I had a peek on Wikipedia and there’s an entire category page dedicated to ‘Austrian darts players’. Admittedly I’ve never heard of any of them, including the improbably-named Didi Burger, who I’m sure I ate once in KFC.

Eventually we joined our continental comrades in a game and I was pleased to discover that they were equally as inexpert as us. Kinship in incompetence.

We promised to visit their website. They explained that they’d only had one hit in three years. Which is the sort of the point of this post. I reckon with the volume of traffic that this blog gets we can at least double that. So here it is.

You can check out the photos of the night. Some of the pub. Some of the action. Some slighty suspicious ones of girls who don’t look as if they know they’re being snapped. And one of some crocusses. Of course.


Written by harrisharrison

March 13, 2009 at 9:42 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Didi Burger sounds more like a Mario Kart character.


    March 16, 2009 at 10:35 pm

  2. Burger Dietmar is a very good player. not only in austria but in the whole europe.
    you should visit Zadar this year 20-27.6.2009. to se him throw darts.

    Regards from Croatia


    April 10, 2009 at 7:38 am

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