Kibworth Club Welcomes Legend
The recent demise of one of this country’s top darts players inspired Mary Vears and Doreen Deacon, both from Kibworth Beauchamp, to get in touch and provide photographic evidence of a visit by five times World Champion, Eric Bristow to Kibworth Working Mens Club. The event took place on 5 October 1979, surrounded by the top local darts players as in the picture above, who pitted their skills against ‘The Crafty Cockney’.
Doreen Deacon was one of those chosen to play against him, as she was a winner of the Market Harborough Ladies Singles Trophy in 1978.
Eric Bristow’s achievements in the World Championship stakes occurred between 1980 and 1986. He acquired the nickname ‘The Crafty Cockney’ after visiting an English-style pub of that name in Santa Monica, California. Born on 25th April 1957 in North London, he was the only child of George and Pamela Bristow.
Later he settled in Staffordshire and at one time ran the Swan Hotel in Leek. In addition to being a renowned World darts player, he also worked as a TV pundit and appeared on the ITV programme ‘I’m a Celebrity - Get me out of here’ in 2012.
Sadly, Eric passed away suddenly with a heart attack while at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on 5 April 2018 aged 60. His funeral took place at Carmountside crematorium in Stoke-on-Trent, on what would have been his 61st birthday.
An amusing anecdote about Eric came to mind recently, concerning the presentation of his MBE by HM The Queen at Buckingham Palace back in 1989. Apparently, he accidentally broke with protocol by turning his back on the Queen as he retreated. Suddenly, remembering Royal etiquette, he wheeled round and said ‘sorry darling’ to which, according to Eric, HM saw the funny side of his reaction and laughed!
He certainly revelled in his ‘cheeky man of the people’ image as I’m sure those present at the Kibworth Working Mens Club, all those years ago, can readily recall.