Here at DartsMad we speak to many players on a regular basis and every now and then a blast from past crops up who we haven’t seen for a while.

We had one such occasion this week when Mark Thomson contacted us to send us some information for his database profile so we thought we’d catch up and ask where he’s been hiding.

Portsmouth born Mark came into public consciousness in 2003 when he won the CIU National Singles beating Phill Nixon in the final before joining the PDC.

He was active on the PDC circuit between 2003 and 2007 where he chucked his Bob Anderson 19g arrers at the UK Open finals in Bolton five years running and played on the Circus Tavern stage in the 2005 PDC World Championship (where the picture to the right was taken), losing to Andy Hamilton in round one. This was a bitter-sweet high point in Mark’s career – “even though Andy ‘hammered’ me it is something all players want to achieve in their playing career”.

He won the Hampshire Open in 2005 and had some pairs success, winning the 2002 Bob Anderson Classic with Alex Roy in Blackpool and partnering Lionel Sams to the 2005 Dutch Open title in Emmen Holland.

Mark was forced to retire from the pro ranks in 2007 due to severe arthritis in his upper arms and knees, thus explaining his low profile over the last few years. The arthritis severely curbed his activity on the oche but he still managed to compete in the BDO during 2009 & 2010 where he won the 2009 Malta Open, reached the semi finals of the 2009 England Classic and played in the 2010 Winmau World Masters.

He still keeps his eye in with the local dart leagues; something he can keep abreast of being the landlord of The Duke of Edinburgh pub in Swindon that has no less than eleven darts teams! They play virtually every day of the week with one Tuesday team having something of a dream team look to it – PDC pros Dennis Smith & Johnny Haines are complemented by Paul Boulton (recently seen at the UK Open in Bolton) and 1990 News of the World champion Paul Cook.

Now 48, Mark lives with wife Allyson and has his hands full with three boys (Paul, a former Wiltshire youth player, Steven and Nathan) and a busy pub to look after.

However he still finds time to coach and advise up & coming youth players, with some success – two of his proteges, Josh McCarthey and Zac Cross, now play for England youth and another, Chris Aubrey, has turned pro. Keep an eye out for their progress.

Does Mark miss the PDC Tour?

“I really do miss the Pro Tour. I was climbing the ranks at a great pace when this Arthritis hit me, it really pulled the rug from under me. Plus I miss ALL the lads on the tour it was like a big family.”

Barring a miracle arthritis cure, it is a shame we won’t be seeing Thommo on the tour again but it seems he will always be involved in darts and can look back on a good career that many a pub chucker would gladly swap for. He’s putting some of his knowledge and experience back into the game through the burgeoning youth ranks (the youth game has never been in such good shape) and may yet unearth a future world champion.

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One Response

  1. Itscallum1

    Thommo is a quality guy and a great player, he is also a very good host & landlord. Sure the pub will be a big success. It would be superb if the cure to the problem arrived and gave him another bite at the cherry. We had the great pleasure of holding a “find a Pro” event at his previous establishment, it was superbly handled. Also during his spell playing in 2009 and 10 we were lucky enough to see him at our day of darts. He played fantastically all day and only ran out of steam after a really long day/night in the 501 semi final. Very talented and very nice guy. Good luck in all ventures Tommo.