Jocky Wilson

34 – Jocky Wilson wins darts world title

January 16, 1982

NOT even Professor Stephen Hawking can explain it.

The famed physicist has an answer for everything – except the achievements of Jocky Wilson.

It’s essentially all about the arm when it comes to hitting treble twenties on a dartboard.

That’s why John Lowe should have easily won the 1982 World Darts Championship final.

The Englishman was an unflappable character with a smooth-as-silk throw.

Standing between him and a second world title was John Thomas Wilson, a former miner from Kirkcaldy. The wee man will forever be remembered as one of Scotland’s most unlikely sporting successes.

And not because he was a short, tubby man with very few teeth and a passion for lager.

Having gnashers has never been a great advantage when it comes to throwing darts.

A mouth of horrors isn’t uncommon among the greatest tungsten flingers.

Jocky Wilson (Bob Martin/Allsport)
Jocky Wilson (Bob Martin/Allsport)

Jocky was different in many ways.

Up on the oche, he twitched, jerked and almost launched himself at the board.

It shouldn’t have worked. His technique was a mechanical mess.

But the crowd at Jollees Cabaret Club in Stoke-on-Trent watched in awe as the Scotsman’s rough-and-ready talent beat his calm, composed English opponent.

Later that year Dexys Midnight Runners released the single “Jackie Wilson said”.

A picture of Jocky, not Jackie, Wilson appeared behind them on Top of the Pops.

It was no mistake – they knew he would make people smile.

Jocky passed away in 2012, but Scots everywhere still grin at the memory of his success.

He was the people’s champion.