Eric Bristow: The Autobiography: The Crafty Cockney
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ERIC BRISTOW MBE is considered to be the greatest darts player of all time. He was an unmistakable figure on the oche during his 1980s heyday, and became renowned not just for the number of world titles he won but for his arrogance on stage and off it.
In this candid account Bristow reveals how darts proved a salvation from his early life as a cat burglar, shoplifter and thug, introducing him to a new world of beer, babes and undreamed of success. And in his rapid rise to the top he gives fascinating insights into the characters that pioneered darts in those early days and how, when his own career began to slide at the end of the decade, he trained his protégé Phil 'The Power' Taylor, turning him into the most successful player darts has ever known.
Bristow holds nothing back as he reveals his battle with dartitis, a psychological condition which left him unable to let go of the dart and almost destroyed his career; his relationship with girlfriend and former women's world darts champion Maureen Flowers; and his occasional all-too-public falls from grace.
Bristow's life story is a thrill-a-minute ride through the raucous world of darts and how it has helped to shape and drive his life over the past forty years.
dollars a pop, and beating them. Every time I won I passed the money down to Cliff and he bought the drinks. I got in a rhythm after a bit, I had my second wind, and was downing beers and spirits one after the other – and all the while beating these blokes at pool. They must have been pretty poor players to lose to me, the state I was in. At the end of the night the band’s singer announced, ‘We’d like to thank Eric and Cliff for the drinks,’ and the whole place cheered, clapped and slapped us
after about a quarter of a mile they stopped following me. Thank Christ for that, I thought, and began to relax. I got to a path and started walking along it when, from about fifty yards away, a big black lad started walking towards me. Where he came from I will never know, but he was huge, and he was walking with his mate who was also six foot eight. As we got to about ten yards from each other I said, ‘All right, lads?’ One of them looked at me and sneered, ‘What’s the matter, man, dead boy
large vodkas, Jocky came back on stage in high spirits and noticed a large effigy in the hall of Christ crucified. ‘Ah,’ he said at the top of his voice and with a wave of his hand, ‘I see they caught the bastard who stole my money.’ Jocky got me during a World Cup game. He was playing for Scotland and I was representing England in the final of the singles up in Glasgow. We were both standing at the back of the stage waiting to go on, the TV cameras were running and everything was set. Then the
playing at the Tropicana in the nineties when I got a message on my mobile saying it was Engelbert Humperdinck’s son and would I please call him. I refused to ring at first because I thought it was a wind-up, but when I did this voice on the other end said, ‘How are you, mate? My dad wants you to come and watch him.’ He was playing at Caesar’s Palace. I still thought it was a wind-up, right until the moment I collected the complimentary tickets and we were put in the front row. Everybody in the
and the good thing about Keith is that once he loses he is gone. There was no bragging after that. He went off to lick his wounds. I said to Nicky afterwards, ‘Cheers for that. Now we don’t have to suffer that twat for another year. We can get on with the tournament now.’ I was lethal in the run-up to the final. I beat Finn Jensen, Rick Ney, Peter Locke and John Lowe without dropping a set, to play the new number three seed Dave Whitcombe in the final. He’d had a monumental battle with Jocky in