Archive for October, 2011

John ‘Darth Maple’ Part

As well as giving the world Leonard Cohen, Celine Dion and the faaaabulous Jay Manuel (America’s Next Top Model), Canada can lay claim to producing the world’s most dedicated professional darts player, a man who, according to his unofficial website, travels 140,000 miles a year ‘to quench his thirst for darts’. His name: John Part. Thirst is a recurring theme for Part, whose love of the booze is legendary on a circuit that prides itself on performing well despite utter inebriation. All those years on the liquor has left Part with an odd physical shape: regular looking from the front but with a gargantuan belly hidden beneath a sweaty black nylon darts shirt, the true scale of the beer baby revealed only in an expansive side profile shot.

As a player, Part claimed the British Darts Organisation championship a solitary time prior to the revelatory player breakaway to form the Sky-backed PDC in 1997, whose title he won twice in 2003 (beating no less than Phil Taylor in the final) and in 2008. His style is one of the most fluent and pleasing on the circuit, the hand rocking back and forth several times like a nervous masturbator while his face grimaces as the dart is rapidly released towards the board. His greatest asset is an ability to hit ‘cover shots’ (moving down from treble 20 to treble 19) at will, a skill bettered only by Phil Taylor. Beyond the oche, Part is a regular in the commentary box, his smooth, concise observations a welcome respite from the gibberings of the neurotic Sid Waddell and the insufferable patter of Tony Green.  An exquisite nine-darter can be found below.

Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams

Poster boy for the Beeb’s cack-handed coverage of the second-rate world championship, the BDO, Wolfie is the darts player most familiar to Joe Public, his grizzled visage as integral to Auntie’s festive viewing schedule as Pat Butcher’s dripping mascara. In addition to the facial fuzz, the lesser-spotted Adams can be identified through his tinted aviator-style glasses, and the sight of his long-suffering wife, Sharon, clutching a toy wolf and screeching like a demented banshee at the Lakeside. While a class act with the arrows, Adams will never go down in the annals of darting folklore by virtue of his refusal to leave the cushy British Darts Organisation to join the big boys in the rival PDC, choosing instead to hoover-up worthless BDO titles year-by-year against mediocre opposition.

Wolfie’s other notable accolades include the Peterborough Telegraph Sports Personality of the year 22007 – 2011, and patron of the UK Wolf Conservation Trust. I’m sure the wolves appreciate his support in these difficult times. While I may mock Wolfie and his unwillingness to play against the best week-in-week-out, his crystal clear life philosophy cannot be questioned: “People ask why I still play for a pub team. Well, it’s where I started and it’s where I shall finish, so why not continue playing in the pub in between as well? I love it. No pressure, no hassle. Just a good night out with good company, good beer and a game of darts.” Good beer and a game of darts. Amen.

Steve ‘Magnum-PI’ Beaton

Of all the presents I have received down the years, perhaps my favourite was an unexpected parcel enclosing a signed picture of Steve Beaton, and some Steve Beaton darts flights. To my fiancé’s obvious displeasure, I proceeded to frame the Beaton picture and place it above the toilet, where it remains to this day. Few things stir the blood in the morning more than the sight of Beaton’s pristine mullet when taking a slash.

His distinctive appearance has led Beaton to collect three different darts monikers: ‘The Bronzed Adonis’ owing to a radiant tan that your local chav would kill for; ‘The Housewives’ Choice’ for obvious reasons; and his preferred shout,’ Magnum-PI’ in homage to the Selleck-esque tash. As a player, Beaton never really capitalised on his huge potential, with a solitary BDO world title to show for his efforts for the year’s biggest prize. Alongside Ted Hankey and John Lowe, his action is perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing in darting history, the delivery smoother than a pornstar’s beaver. A mild-mannered man, I was surprised to note that his favourite film is Rambo: First Blood, anticipating Smokey and the Bandit as more his speed. If I were to try and sum-up the great man in one sentence, I could do worse than quote baggervance9’s YouTube comment: “fuck me, that mustache [sic] that could probably make women pregnant if they looked at it.”

Andy ‘The Viking’ Fordham

An athlete in his youth, the young Andy Fordham was apparently known as ‘the whippet’, a revelation that, in light of events of the past few years, transcends irony. Whether Andy first developed his hunger after a crazed occasion at the school tuck shop, is hard to say, however what is clear is that at some stage the whippet morphed into a colossal st bernard. His nadir arrived in 2004 when, weighing in at circa 31 stone, he had to retire from a game against Phil Taylor due to heat intensity. Upon attending hospital, he was informed that 75% of his liver was dead and he needed to stop drinking immediately, no doubt something of a culture shock to a man who supped 25 Holston Pils and munched six steak and kidney pies before toe-ing the oche. Even when darts wasn’t on the agenda, Andy would do his bit for the British economy, drinking, “probably 15 to 20 pints of lager more or less every day.”

Since his spell in hospital, Fordham suffered the indignation of appearing on Celebrity Fit Club with rent-a-celeb, Paul Ross, and a bunch of washed up jokers from Corrie. Whether he shat himself at the fear of living in such company, or actually undertook some physical exercise, Fordham managed to lose 3 stone, which, proportionate to his body size, was akin to having a haircut. He returned to darts in 2007 following a self-imposed spell in the wilderness, during which he lost a further seven stone. The returning Fordham is a sight to behold: the head, as small as a pin, while the remainder of the body remains majestic in its scope. However while his health has improved, his darts has suffered, with the weight loss affecting his balance, causing him to relearn his technique. Fingers crossed the Viking can get back to former glories, if only to stick two fingers up at the ghastly, patronising Kay Burley. See interview below.

Phil ‘Nixy’ Nixon

Perhaps the greatest idol on this list, Phil Nixon’s claim to fame is reaching the 2007 BDO final at the age of 50 in only his first appearance at the championship, having tried in vain to qualify for the previous 20 years. Such was the unexpected nature of his performances, the beeb’s production team seemed unsure of his nickname, veering between ‘The Ferryhill Flyer’ in reference to his home town, and the more rudimentary ‘Nixy’, a handle only marginally better than Mervyn ‘The King’ King.

The final itself was hilarious, with Nixy seemingly destined for a crushing defeat, only to launch an inspired comeback before Adams crept over the line. As the arrows flew, we heard how the journeyman Nixy was a dedicated house-husband to his two children, with six other Nixy offspring existing somewhere in these fair isles. From looking at the man with his bland facial expression and weedy physique, he appeared to be anything but a rampant stud, but, as he started clawing back the legs, I felt proud that my taxes went to supporting his darting dreams, and the hungry mouths of his spawn.

Since that glorious day in 2007, Nixy has alas wallowed in the doldrums, failing to qualify for the past two world championships, no doubt spending his time rutting away in alleyways shortly after closing time. Come 2017, being the ten-year anniversary of the epic final, I hope to flick over to BBC1 to see the 60 year-old Nixy, father of twenty by that time, putting Wolfie to the sword to claim the most unlikeliest of victories since Lee McQueen won series 4 of The Apprentice.

For those who missed out all those years ago, link to the closing part of the final.

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Former BDO Darts World Champion, Andy Fordham - a man who knows how to celebrate

Rio Ferdinand (Footballer, Manchester United)

Wanna get a coffee after the game?

Reformed roaster and Twitter junkie, Rio Ferdinand, seldom scores any goals. Haunted by his meagre personal haul, he has made it his mission to destroy the glorious scoring moments of his teammates, by jumping on top of them like an excitable pooch raping its owner. The next time you see Rooney curl a sumptuous effort into the top corner, allow the seconds to pass by before the screen is interrupted by the bouncing Ferdinand, mouth agog, leaping on top of anything in sight, and imploring broken Britain to roar with him. If you ever fancy a laugh, follow Ferdinand on Twitter and revel in the hourly banalities issued from his iPhone, finished on most occassions with the hashtags “#oof!” and “#relentless”; as in, “I just spread some butter on my toast #oof! #relentless”. Steve Jobs would be proud.

Usain Bolt (Athlete)

The horror, the horror

I must confess to an utter ambivalence for athletics; the idea that people would get excited about, let alone spend any money to watch, a couple of preening blokes running in a straight line for ten seconds, or a butch Bulgarian throwing a stick passes me by. Sure, one must credit athletics for giving us the human laughter cannon, Chris Akabusi, and the amusing party game ‘find John Regis’ neck’, but it is otherwise the pastimes of the playground transposed to grandiose arenas.  Bolt’s celebration sums up the silliness of it all, as he spends more time prepping his imaginary arrow to the sky as he does running, the token mascot cleverly manoeuvred into the shot; the end-result a rampant mix of ego and corporate opportunism.

Facundo Sava (Footballer, ex-Fulham)

Without his celebration, Sava would be just another addition to the roster of woeful foreigners imported to the English Premier League since Sky began its monopoly in 1994. A desperately poor player, Sava managed to convince Fulham to part with £2 million to secure his services in 2002, money which Muhammed Al-Fayed could have sensibly used to buy a sculpture of Bubbles to accompany Jacko’s lone bronzed presence outside Craven Cottage. With an embarrassing haul of 6 goals in 27 games, Sava offered Al-Fayed and his cronies little reason for cheer, however if he spent more time honing his finishing ability than he did celebrating his few moments of glory, he might have troubled Emile Heskey in the proficiency stakes. The routine itself saw Sava delve into his sock and unfurl a Zorro mask, before spinning around the pitch like a wanker, all for no good reason. Recognition of basic human rights has seen the video taken down from YouTube, and an unsatisfactory picture is sadly all I can offer.

Lee Hughes (Footballer, Notts County)

Lacking the polished finish of an Al Qaeda production

Short, ugly and ginger, Lee Hughes was dealt a poor hand. In 2004, his hand ducked below the breadline when a judge sent him to the pen for 6 years for taking someone’s life in a hit-and-run incident. Before his incarceration, Hughes had been a decent footballer, hitting his goalscoring peak at West Brom circa 1999, when myself and friends would frequently spunk a few mill to sign him in Champ Manager. Thankfully, the virtual world of Champ Manager shielded the addicted gamer from seeing Hughes celebrate like a bell-end. While we rapped our keyboards in the comfort of our middle-class homes, I expect Hughes was forced to tone down his celebration while playing for prison team Featherstone F.C. for fear of scrambling for the soap in the post-match showers. The celebration itself is a piss-poor version of the Gyan dance (see below), with Hughes jumping up and down and waving his arms in the air like a drugged-up party reveller. While Hughes’ wiki page provides useful insights about his £750,00 mock-tudor mansion, it fails to explain the origins of the awful dance moves, perhaps because it was spawned in the playground as a form of defence to the inevitable playground bullies.

Andy Murray (Tennis Player)

Look, mum, I did a poo

Where does one start with ‘Muzza’? As a fairly useful tennis player, I can but purr with appreciation as Murray pummels a double-handed background down the tramline, before wincing in horror as he dumps an overhead into the base of the net. Clearly, the problem is mental rather than technical and one can only hope that he learns from the majestic efforts of Novak Djokovic and learns to embrace challenges, rather than remain a timid wreck. Even if he improves his mental health, public acceptance will be lacking until he stops celebrating an important set by turning to his long-suffering team in the stands and roaring “Cum ‘awn”, like a cocky toddler using the potty for the first time. There is no class in this celebration, no muted cool, just the unravelling of a man on the edge. Horrible.

Alan Shearer (Retired Footballer)

Brings tears to the eyes of any long-suffering Rovers fans

As a fervent Blackburn Rovers fan during their heady title-winning season, I became accustomed to the sight of Shearer lacing in yet another gritty twenty-yard bullet, his head ducked down to the floor while saluting the skies with his right mitt. An unbelievably boring man, it is perhaps fitting that Shearer’s one-hand-in-the-air celebration lacked any fancy flourish, however as no-one else ever scored for Blackburn, I soon longed for something better. What went through Shearer’s mind when he first selected this permanent celebration in front of a plethora of alternative options? Had he not been seduced by Roger Milla’s flirtations with the corner flag? Did he not not weep with Marco Tardelli at the 1982 World Cup? Clearly not, as Shearer chose instead to honour modest northern grit. As the man himself might say, ‘it did the job’.

Asamoah Gyan (Footballer and Mercenary)


“Richardson, moving forward; now on to Gyan, Gyan gets past one, two, three…Gyan shoots OH MY WHAT A GOAL!!! And look at the…wait…oh ha-ha, have you got any dance moves like that, Mark?! Give over, John.”

For those unfamiliar with his work, Asamoah Gyan is a Ghanian footballer under the employ of Sunderland FC. Having paid £13m for his services in 2010, Gyan flicked the Vs at the club and fans alike, to move on a season-long loan to notorious football hotbed, the United Arab Emirates, no doubt comforted by his fourfold salary increase. While Sunderland fans may have been initially disappointed at the news, they will be saved the horrors of listening to John Motson express his embarrassed joy at Gyan doing some rhythmless jig after he finds the back of the net. It transpires that Gyan thinks of himself as a bit of a music affaciando, having recorded and released a song called ‘African Girls’ with the help of seminal Ghanain musician, ‘Castro the Destroyer’. The result is as woeful a piece of music as you will ever find, featuring the ‘trademark dance’ from 2:54 onwards. Bring back the Scatman, all is forgiven.

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