Lowe: “We drank place dry” after first nine

JOHN LOWE admits he bought 50 bottles of champagne after and “drank the place dry” after landing the first-ever TV nine-darter.

Old Stoneface, 69, achieved the milestone live on ITV’s World of Sport back on October 13, 1984, picking up a staggering £102,000 prize.

Lowe, who was crowned world champion in 1979, 1987 and 1993, believes his first perfect leg took the arrows forward by 20 years in terms of sporting status.

Lowe said: “It’s been done a few times on TV now, but in 1984 mine was massive.

“It took darts to a new level. Especially because sport is measured by money. I picked up over £100,000 for that nine-darter in the same year that John McEnroe won Wimbledon and received £90,000 – while Seve Ballesteros won The Open and got £60,000.”

However Lowe claims the Robert Thornton and James Wade Grand Prix double-start nine-darters will be remembered alongside other great oche moments like Raymond van Barneveld beating Phil Taylor in the 2007 World Final, and The Power’s two perfect legs in the 2010 Premier League Final.

Lowe added: “It was a sensational match. Not just about the double start nine-darters, but because their finishing was truly outstanding.

“I think Wade hit six ton-plus checkouts and Thornton four. It was top class.

“When you add in the factor that Thornton had attended his mum’s funeral in Scotland earlier that day, it was a remarkable achievement for him. He’s got real courage. People will talk about that game and watch it on YouTube in 30 years just like we’re still talking about my first.”

In 1984 Lowe celebrated by buying more than 50 bottles of champagne. He said: “It was a lot of money then, it’s probably like a million quid today.

“I went into the hotel bar in Slough and told the barman to give everyone a bottle of champagne. Then we had a party and believe me we drank the place dry – it was the biggest moment in my career.”