Autobiography recalls Jocky Wilson's route to World title glory: "I was humiliated, but it started me on the road"

Forty years ago, the biography of Jocky Wilson was released. One of the most popular but also controversial darters in history.

The Courier newspaper this week recalled memories of that biography. Wilson made his entry into darts in the late 1970s. “Before I got to be a darts professional I had a lot of experience of life on the dole," he said as per The Courier.

“One night I was sitting with my pint in the games room as a team match was going on. Suddenly they announced that the Lister needed another player to face-up to Colin Snowdon of the Auld House, another Kirkcaldy pub.

“I volunteered, or rather was roped in, even though I knew Colin was a good thrower. The rules were 301, double to start as well as finish – not so usual these days. I did my best, but he finished before I even got the double to start. Some people call it the white-wash, some the brush – in Scotland, it is the granny.

“I was humiliated, but it started me on the road to the world title.”

In 1982, he won the British Open against a familiar face. “My opponent Eric Bristow had won the title in 1978 and 1981. I was playing well. I did a 12 dart leg of 501, 123, 180, 140, 58 game shot – and I took the first set.

“Eric levelled it at one set all. Then in the final set, at 1-1, I wanted 46, with Eric breathing down my neck on 48.

“My first dart hit Single 10, the next just missed Double 18, the third went in.

“I kissed the board with joy – and relief. I collected the £3000 first prize and allowed myself one vodka and coke with Ron Clover, my manager.

“I was now set for what the darts players call ‘The Big One’ – the Embassy World Professional Championship.”

Becoming World Champion

Then came his route to becoming World Champion including beating Stefan Lord which is lauded by Wilson as the highest point.

“It was not long before I rattled in a 10 darter to equal the TV world record of Evans and Leighton Rees.

“That night was the highest point of my throwing career. I pulled out all the stops. I won four sets to one.”

But after capturing the World title, he received the bad news that his family had to be evacuated from their home four days earlier.

“Ron had thought it best to keep this from me and Malvina had been going back each night to answer my telephone calls. That’s support for you.

“The flat upstairs had flooded and the water ran down to ours.

“I was going to have a go at the council but used my prize money to start buying a house instead.”

But away from the oche, alcohol was a big part of his life and used to cope.

“I am still at the fitting stage with bits of my image. I’m quite aware that I am working too hard, and that sometime I am ill, tired and out of sorts.

“I was so uptight and keen to do well that I often had a drop too much to drink.”

The Scot eventually became world champion twice and died in 2012 at the age of 62.

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BDO Jocky Wilson

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