King­dom lad who took the oche crown

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS -

Born in Kirk­caldy in 1950, Jocky Wil­son’s early life did lit­tle to sug­gest he was to one day be­come a house­hold name.

Hav­ing grown up in an or­phan­age, he would spend time in the army, be­fore work­ing in a fish pro­cess­ing plant and as a miner be­fore un­em­ploy­ment gave him the im­pe­tus to be­come a pro­fes­sional darts player in 1979.

Af­ter en­ter­ing a darts com­pe­ti­tion at But­lin’s in Ayr, he won a first prize of £500 and de­cided to fo­cus his at­ten­tion on the game.

Within months he was tak­ing part in the World Cham­pi­onships and three years later won the tour­na­ment, a tri­umph he was to re­peat in 1989.

His ca­reer at the oche would make him a na­tional star, at a time when the sport was widely tele­vised and fea­tured such lu­mi­nar­ies as Eric Bris­tow and Bobby Ge­orge.

A heavy smoker and drinker, Wil­son lost his teeth by the age of 28, claim­ing never to have brushed them be­cause his gran had told him “the English poi­son the wa­ter”.

Af­ter re­tir­ing he re­turned to his home town and re­treated from pub­lic life be­fore dy­ing in 2012 at the age of 62.

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