Antony back in charge

Ref­eree called up to World Cham­pi­onships

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - JONATHAN GEDDES

Darts ref Antony Dun­das is set for a mag­nif­i­cent seven at this year’s BDO World Cham­pi­onships – and he couldn’t be hap­pier.

The darts tour­na­ment gets un­der­way at the le­gendary Lake­side venue at the start of Jan­uary, and for the sev­enth year in a row King’s Park man Antony will be one of the of­fi­cials.

He has pre­vi­ously taken charge of three world cham­pi­onship fi­nals at the com­pe­ti­tion but says that tak­ing charge of any match at the Lake­side is a priv­i­lege.

Antony told the Re­former: “I can’t wait be­cause the Lake­side is still the home of world darts and it’s al­ways spe­cial to ref­eree there.

“I al­ways say it’s like ap­pear­ing at Ham­p­den or Wem­b­ley for foot­ball, be­cause the his­tory makes it spe­cial.”

How­ever Antony’s ref­er­eer­ing jour­ney was due to a fluke more than any­thing else.

He ad­mit­ted: “I used to watch the Lake­side when I was younger be­cause my dad is a big darts fan.

“I fan­cied play­ing there some­time, but I didn’t think I’d be there as a ref.

“I ended up ref­er­ee­ing a youth tour­na­ment the year af­ter I’d won it as I was too old to play in it again.

“And that’s how it started. I was about 20 and had just started to ref­eree matches around the county. I got a call in 2012 to ref­eree at the Scot­tish Open and it went from there.”

The 32-year-old be­lieves the BDO tour­na­ment, which gets un­der­way Jan­uary 6, will of­fer top-notch darts, even if it doesn’t have the fi­nan­cial mus­cle of the ri­val PDC or­gan­i­sa­tion.

He added: “There’s al­ways a good qual­ity of play in the BDO, we’re the grass­roots of the sport.

“A new board has taken over, we have got new TV deals for the three ma­jor tour­na­ments and hope­fully it’ll be a new era.”

How­ever Antony reck­ons there is one prob­lem with the ex­plo­sion in pop­u­lar­ity of darts.

A re­cent in­ci­dent at the PDC’s World Cham­pi­onships saw Dutch star Michael Von Ger­win hit with a drink as he made his en­trance.

And Antony reck­ons that fans cross­ing the line needs to be cracked down on.

He added: “That is the only prob­lem with how big darts has be­come, that you get crowds that are only want­ing to drink there.

“I bet you could ask some of them the scores af­ter they leave and they wouldn’t know.

“There is no place for what hap­pened to Michael Von Ger­win in darts but thank­fully it’s only a mi­nor­ity of fans that be­have like that.”

The BDO World Cham­pi­onships take place from Jan­uary 6, and will be aired on Quest and Eurosport.

Man in the mid­dle Ref Antony Dun­das

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.