While all our thoughts are with Sid Waddell and his family as he battles illness and begins the difficult journey to full recovery, we thought we would help lighten the mood a little by launching the first of our glitzy & exclusive DartsMad.com Tungsten Barrel Awards. This may become a regular feature, or it may not; who knows.

The DartsMad.com Tungsten Barrel Awards

Category: Best Darting Moustache

Darts is a sport that is usually associated with girth and it is a shame this clichéd focus on heft has overshadowed some impressive muzzy action down the years.

Well, no longer. Today we celebrate the best ‘taches of the oche from the annals of professional darts.

We’re still waiting for a ‘Salvador Dali’ or a ‘Hans Moretti’ to grace a PDC Pro Tour event so while we have to make do with new fangled finely mowed designer stubble and juvenile bum fluff let’s take a stroll down memory lane to look back at some of the more memorable lip fur to have bristled 7’ 9 ¼” from the sisal.

Note: Only moustaches qualify; beards and goatees do not. Outstanding exhibits by the likes of Andy Fordham, Gary Mawson, Robert Thornton, Peter Manley, and, erm, Justin Lee Collins, are magnificent in their own right (not to mention the masterpieces fashioned by Simon Whitlock and Martin Adams) but are excluded from this award category.

10. Alan Glazier

It is widely known that a symmetrical moustache aids balance and gives its wearer a distinct advantage over the clean lipped opponent. Alan Glazier was the first to realise this and his pioneering approach to darts reaped great reward in the 70’s.

Glazier bore the nickname ‘Ton Machine’ for his scoring prowess but without the perfectly weighted furry handlebars he might only have been nicknamed ’60 Machine’. Dart players have been copying Glazier’s formula ever since so he is a no-brainer to kick off our Tungsten Tash Top Ten.

9. Terry Jenkins

The Terry Jenkins walk on has become something of a cult. As the familiar strains of ‘Wooly Bully’ are heard the cheeky moustache appears first, closely followed by the rest of Terry Jenkins.

The Jenkins tash is the first thing on his dinner plate and the first thing the beer froth encounters. This is just how it should be. As Confucious wisely said “the tash defines the man and the man that masters the tash is a man going places.” And where Terry Jenkins and his moustache are going is straight in at number nine on our Tungsten Tash Top Ten.

8. Wayne Jones

They call him The Wanderer but this has everything to do with coming from Wolverhampton and nothing at all to do with the impressive hairpiece that crawls from nostril to lip. The neatly coiffured tash that adorns Jones’ face wanders not and is fully deserving of a place in this list.

Jones appears to have struck that fine balance between darts prowess and muzzy maintenance, finding an easy to manicure formula that gives the best of both worlds and creates the much needed ballast which, as we have already discovered, is paramount to a smooth throwing action.

7. Dennis Priestley

Dennis is another who relies entirely on his moustache for balance, much like a squirrel’s tale, when lining up his measured & methodical throw. The trim must be perfectly symmetrical or it will affect equilibrium and alter the flight path of the dart.

Priestley’s most successful period came in the 90’s when he employed the trimming services of Mexborough’s finest barber, Seth Sidebottom. Only Phil Taylor’s barber kept a better tash symmetry and, had it not been for this, Priestley would have won many more titles.

Since Seth sadly passed away in 2005 Priestley’s fortunes have been mixed as he has strived for the perfect fuzzy stabiliser. However this does not detract from the fact that his is an example to hold aloft for aspiring cultivators.

6. Bob Anderson

For years Anderson betwirled the tash world like a colossus. The Limestone Cowboy would yield to no man when it came to tungsten or tash. Fiercely competitive, legend has it that Anderson has won many a wager lifting weights with his sturdy stubble.

Opting for the rounded ‘droop’ effect, the look made Anderson a formidable opponent on the oche and enhanced his ruthless gunslinger image. This tactic brought a world title, a hat-trick of World Masters crowns, and, perhaps most prestigious of all, a coveted place in our Tungsten Tash Top Ten.

5. Alan Tabern

“We love Tabern’s tash!” is the chant that goes up when The Saint takes the stage. Well it doesn’t actually but it should do because the St Helen’s man sports a marvellous subtle model.

Tabern’s is a fair haired face blender that turns almost ginger in hue when put under the glare of the television lights.

A little known Tabern fact is that although he throws left handed he trims his tash right handed; the daily procedure takes four hours, one hour more than he practices for.

4. Ronnie Baxter

Ronnie Baxter’s moustache burst onto the scene in the late 80’s, unfurled like a peacock’s tail, standing proud and a match for anybody’s of the era. It initially brought Baxter some success on the oche although he has always in the imposing shadow of the near perfect Taylor/Priestley tash axis.

As we moved through the 90’s Baxter’s lip blanket slowly shrank like a salted slug before disappearing altogether. Younger viewers will perhaps be unaware of the majesty of The Rocket’s glory tash years but a quick YouTube search should avail archive footage of the Baxter fauna of yore. It is more than good enough to earn a place in our top ten.

3. Steve Beaton

The Bronzed Adonis has sported the ‘Selleck Tash’ for as long as he’s been able to grow one. Opting for the carefully groomed Magnum look, Beaton has combined this prominent lip motif with a button down shirt & chest ensemble that resembles a back street barber’s bin bag.

All very butch and good enough to earn the manly Midlander, fittingly, the bronze medal.

2. Phil Taylor

If you bought a Unicorn board in the 90’s you would most likely have received a checkout wall chart with it. On this handy poster are examples of how to checkout all the two & three dart finishes. Dotted around these mathematical hints are photos of Unicorn’s prime stable of dartists from that period – Bob Anderson, John Lowe, Eric Bristow, and an amusingly moustachioed Phil Taylor.

In his time The Power has experimented with a number of hairstyles (remember the tram lines disaster?) and has had the muzzy on and off. The early 90’s were Phil’s halcyon years for face hair, and a specimen that had echoes of a Victorian fairground strongman earn him the runner’s up spot.

1. Ronnie Sharp

Le crème de la crème de la tache. There can be only one winner and Ronnie Sharp’s peerless effort takes the title.

Ronnie was a fine darts player but found that attending to his facial flora left little time for practice. Consequently his results suffered as his tash bloomed. Caring for the bushy behemoth straddling his top lip became virtually a full time job and Ronnie struggled to balance the two.

He gradually faded from the top echelons of the game and was last seen competing in county darts whenever pruning and lip gardening duties would permit.