Part one of our interview with Mike Gregory can be found here.

…..continued

DM: Lets talk about your best or favourite moment in your darting career, we may have covered it already with the News of The World?

MG: Well I won it the first time in ’87, that Christmas my Mum died and then when I was preparing for the next one a few months later my Dad died, it gave me some inspiration and I decided I was going to try and win it again for him, and I did….

DM: Under the circumstances that was a good win, and nice to do it in your Dad’s memory, obviously with the highs come the lows, is there  a worst or unluckiest darting moment you can recall.

MG: If I lose I lose, if have darts to win a game and I miss them, then I blame myself….I don’t think I’ve ever had a worst moment in darts no, and that includes the split. At that time it wasn’t just my decision. I sat down with my wife at the time and we thought about it and we decided that I couldn’t afford to gamble the roof over our kid’s heads.

DM: Yes, when you did switch back to the BDO was it at the same time as Chris Johns?

MG: No Chris actually went back before I did, and one day during one of my exhibitions my manager at the time turned up out the blue, and suggested I take legal advise about the writ. And not being disrespectful  to the people I was with in the WDC at the time I wanted to find out for myself, so I went and met Olly Croft and his solicitors, the outcome being when I asked them to put it in plain English, was if we lost the court case I could have lost everything. At the end of the day I wasn’t in the same position as some of the others like John and Eric, who could afford to take the big bump. I had not been playing as long, and you obviously you have to live and I had a big mortgage.

DM: That year (1994), you were unable to play in either World Championship event, did that affect you at the time?

MG: No, I could understand it, I went over then I went back, even though I did qualify for the BDO one, they had already made the draw. There was nothing I could do about it….

DM: Obviously the big news in the BDO this year was the departure of Olly Croft, was this long overdue in your mind?

MG: Personally I think the PDC is doing very well and I would have liked to have seen a deal between the two, it would have lifted the BDO. There are a lot of old thoughts within the BDO and they need to bring it up to the standard of the PDC. I think they missed out by not doing a deal with Barry Hearn.

DM: Perhaps the BDO should concentrate on the amateur game and leave professional darts to the PDC?

MG: Martin Adams wouldn’t thank you for saying  that…..

DM: Well it’s interesting that you mention Wolfie, his situation is obviously very different from yours, but do you subscribe to the theory that by staying in the BDO he has taken the soft option?

MG: I think he has been very clever being a big fish in a little pool with not so strong players, I’m not going to run him down because he has played well to win his World Championships, and it was inevitable that he was going to win it somewhere along the line, at the end of the day fair play to the bloke. I don’t think he could have done it in the PDC, the depth in the PDC is tremendous and not taking anything away from the other players, but unless Phil is having a bad day the rest of the field are playing for runner up spot.

DM: Prior to switching back to the BDO you had won and retained the first ever WDC event the Lada UK Masters, what did you think to the format of that tournament?

MG: I did enjoy that tournament actually, it was equal darts and it wasn’t necessarily the best player that won it was the bloke who hit the double at the end of the day, early. You could share or draw the leg whatever, I did like the format yeah, it was good. 

httpv://youtu.be/2EppISNhH6Y

DM: There’s a pattern to your career of winning things twice which proves it was no fluke!

MG: That’s right, I also won the bronze Bully twice!, and hold the highest score of 380 with 9 darts.

DM: We recently went to the Bullseye theatre tour in Derby which was a laugh, but there are calls to bring Bullseye back to prime time terrestrial TV, what are your thoughts on that?

MG: Well after I came back to the BDO we started doing the Embassy roadshow where I would travel round playing the county players, and after a couple of years Tony had the idea that we should bring in Bullseye. We did that for about 9 years which was really a Bullseye Roadshow. They were good shows and I was really busy I would do 250 nights for Bass, and 40 nights for the Embassy roadshow. It would be good to see it back on TV, they have tried it before but they really need Jim (Bowen), of course everyone has there own style of presenting but Jim was so good.

DM: Yes he’s a one off, and unfortunately not been well following a couple of strokes earlier this year, although I believe he is recovering well now, and obviously Tony (Green) has had health problems to….

MG: Oh dear, I hadn’t heard about Jim, but funnily enough Tony has just been in touch about me doing an exhibition in Westminster in December.

DM: So you obviously watch the PDC tournaments then, who do you like the look of in terms of the rest of the field as it were?

MG: I used to play at The Lamb in Clandown which is Steve Grubb’s pub, Gary used to come in and I have seen him play, and practised with him and he’s unreal. If he could sustain that he would be right on Phil’s heels. But he seems to go bang, bang, bang and then he goes to sleep and cant wake up. James (Wade) he’s up and down like a yo-yo, and again if he could keep a nice consistency he would be winning more, if he asked Phil nicely!

DM: We’ve seen Taylor experiment with glasses and other players having laser eye treatment, how has the eyesight held up over the years.

MG: Actually I was struggling a bit in dark venues to see the trebles, and about 4 or 5 months ago I went to SpecSavers, drew a dot on the wall, measured  out at 7″9′ 1/4 etc and said I want some glasses so I can see that distance. And they made me some glasses, which I found a bit difficult at the beginning, all it is is just the lenses with no rim and a bit of wire on the side and an ear piece, and it doesn’t look like you have any on. And it is a hell of an improvement, I can see what I’m throwing at! I’m quite happy with them now.

DM: Where you much of a drinker when you played professionally and did you have a strict practise routine?

MG: Believe it or not I hardly ever practised doubles, when I did I played like a wally! What I used to do was bang the treble twenty, and I got so consistent at it. And when you reach a certain level if you look at a double you should be able to hit it. With the drinking, I used to like to get to a certain point yes, but not go over it….and I did go up onto the Embassy stage once with two shandies, I’m glad I didn’t wear white trousers! that wasnt too good. But you have to try these things dont you, I’ve cut down quite a bit now though.

DM: Mike, it’s been a pleasure talking to you, could you end our interview by taking the DartsMad double 5?

MG: No problem.

Darts used? - 25g nickel tungsten
Favourite Double or Out shot? – Double top or 10’s
Favourite venue? – Lakeside
Favourite player past or present? – Leighton Rees
Who would your ideal partner be in a pro/celebrity tournament? – Engelbert Humperdinck (I’ve played against him in Vegas)
Favourite band/singer – Meatloaf/Queen
Favourite food – Indian/Chinese
Favourite drink – Soda Water
Jeremy Clarkson, perceptive or prat? – Perceptive
Favourite comedian – Jethro

 

For further information, more images/press cuttings and news on Mike’s exhibitions see the Paulton League website:  http://www.paultondarts.co.uk/mike-gregory.php