Buckingham and Winslow Darts League secretary steps down after 32 years

Tony Heath, 60, is stepping down after 32 years
Tony Heath, 60, is stepping down after 32 years

Dart league stalwart Tony Heath is stepping down from his post as secretary of the Buckingham and Winslow Darts League.

For over three decades, the Buckingham-Born 60-year-old has been responsible for arranging fixtures, organising match draws, implementing new rules and making sure the ship runs smoothly.

The veteran committee man joined the society in 1985

The veteran committee man joined the society in 1985

Throughout his tenure, Tony has seen eight different club chairman come and go, but he himself has been a consistent presence for the club.

Reflecting on his experience Tony said: "I've been thinking about it for the last three years, but I decided to call it a day at the end of the Winter League last year. I announced my plans and then left the post at the end of the last Summer League."

"As secretary, I had to send out entry forms for the league, formulate fixtures and divisions. Some pubs have one team, some have four - so you have to work all that out."

"When I first started by very first fixture list was made my hand, then I acquired a typewriter, and now its all done with text messaging and Facebook. We're letting people know what they need to know a lot quicker."

Tony took over in late August 1985, having discovered his love for the game at the Queens Head pub in Chackmore.

Although modest about his time in front of the board, Tony won the Triples Knockout twice and, in his earlier days, was part of a team that won division one fives years out of six, from 1984 to 1989.

A darts fan through and through, Tony offered his perspective on the sport at large. He said: "I sometimes feel there could be more coverage on Terrestrial TV, which would encourage new fans. The sport isn't as big as it used to be."

"I think there are fewer pubs that have dartboards and teams nowadays. The year we had 31 teams there were definitely more places to play."

"That being said, darts is so accessible. Any age can play, you can start off as soon as you're allowed in a pub, as long as the landlord is happy to let you in. We've had a couple occasions when dads start their sons off quite young and they've gone off to be successful players."

New secretary of the league John Barnett offered his thanks, and the thanks of every member of the league, to Tony, who John described as "a tough act to follow."