Bobby George is thirsting for revenge when he and Eric Bristow re-enact one of the most famous darts matches of all time on the opening night of the League of Legends.

The star duo fought out a classic final of the 1980 World Championship, won 5-3 by Bristow, in the first darts match that truly captured the public’s imagination.

Now they will do it all over again on May 30 at the Circus Tavern, Purfleet, Essex, where eight of the most famous darts players in history return to the big time as they relive their battles of yesteryear at venues around England during the summer.

“I can’t wait to get started – there isn’t long to go now,” said 62-year-old George, from Colchester, about the League of Legends, which will be televised live on Setanta Sports on eight Friday nights between May 30 and August 22.

“I see all the other seven players as big rivals in my quest to become the champion. But the only one I’m concerned with at the moment is Eric because I’m playing him first. I’ll sort him out and then look to the next player!”

But Bristow, a five-time world champion, is determined that ‘Bobby Dazzler’ will not gain revenge for that 1980 defeat in Stoke-on-Trent and wants to prove a point to those dismissing him as a title contender.

Rated the 16/1 outsider in the sponsors’ betting, the 51-year-old is not used to being an also-ran and is eager to show he still has the competitive edge despite being away from tournament action for the last few years.

“The first game will be important for me because it’s against Bobby George, who is playing very well, and if I beat him my odds will tumble,” said the ‘Crafty Cockney’.

“It will be a tough game because Bobby recently got to the final of a tournament in Holland. If I can take him out in that first game it will shut everyone up!”

Speaking about the past, Bobby refuses to admit that the class of 2008 are better than his generation.

“People say that today’s players are better than in our time, but what they don’t realise is the dartboard is bigger. The treble is bigger. Plus the throw is nearer, it used to be 8ft 4 in, but now it’s 7ft 9in. And don’t forget I started with brass darts!

“We were the personalities, we had character, and we produced the goods. People still come up to me and tell me how they remember where they were on the day of my match against Eric.”

In the other matches on the opening night of the League of Legends tournament favourite Bob Anderson, who quit the PDC circuit at the start of this year specifically to join the League of Legends, meets Peter Evison, while 1983 world champion Keith Deller takes on Cliff Lazarenko.

John Lowe, the only man to have been world champion in three different decades, is up against Dave Whitcombe, and has been preparing thoroughly for his return to the competitive arena.

“I’ve been relishing getting started for the last few months and now I only have another few days to go – that shows how much I’ve been looking forward to it,” said Lowe, 62, from Chesterfield.

“I’ve been getting ready in my own little way, which might be quite different to the other players. The main thing I’ve been doing is getting my mind right, making sure I’m mentally fit as well as having my game in good shape. I’m in this to compete – I’m not here to make the numbers up.”

About The Author