FORGOTTEN DARTERS - Mike Gregory who missed six match darts to win 1992 World Championship
In this column, we regularly look back at a Forgotten Darter from the past. Today is the turn of Mike Gregory who lost the 1992 World Championship final but only after missing no less than six match darts.
Gregory first came to prominence in 1983 when he lost the World Masters final to Eric Bristow and a year later, he qualified for the World Championship for the first time where he lost 5-0 to Jocky Wilson in the Quarter-Finals.
Gregory was one of the very best players in the world during that period and in 1984 won three majors with the British Matchplay, Butlins Grand Masters and British Professional. In the years that followed, he would add the MFI World Matchplay and News of the World twice.
Also internationally, 'The Quiet Man of Darts', was extremely successful with tournament victories in Finland, Belgium, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland.
At the World Championship, however, it was not possible for years to do better than the quarterfinals on his debut. Until 1990, Gregory reached the quarter-finals again, this time taking out Jocky Wilson. In the semi-finals, however, Eric Bristow was too strong winning 5-2.
Dramatic World Cup final
In 1992 Gregory started as the second seed at the World Championship. After victories against Wayne Weening, Chris Johns, Rod Harrington and Kevin Kenny, he finally made it to the World Championship final, where he took on number one seed, Phil Taylor. That final would be one of the best, most exciting and also most dramatic in BDO history. Gregory missed no less than six arrows for the win (each time two on double 20, double 10 and double 8) and eventually saw Taylor snatch the world title in the very last leg of the deciding set. Later that year he would also lose his second final at the World Masters, this time Dennis Priestley was too strong.
In 1992, Gregory, along with several other top players, founded the World Darts Council, which would later become the PDC. In that new league, he won the Lada UK Masters in both 1992 and 1993 by beating Dennis Priestley and Bob Anderson respectively in the final. However, in November 1993, to the dissatisfaction of Taylor, Anderson and Priestley, among others, Gregory changed his mind and returned to the BDO.
In 1995 he won his last major title, the Unipart European Masters, a tournament that was broadcast on the BBC at the time. The following years he quickly disappeared from the forefront and in 1999 he performed for the fourteenth and last time at the BDO World Championship. In the opening round, however, he lost out against Martin Adams.
The now 64-year-old Englishman now only plays in the British county system, where he plays in Superleague for Radstock.