I had the pleasure of sitting down with the 1988 World Champion Bob Anderson. Anderson was one of the founding members of the PDC back in 1993. Now happily retired from the professional game, Bob is still involved in the sport he loves on the exhibition circuit as well as keeping a keen eye on the modern game. I had the chance to ask Bob some of your great questions.
Did you prefer playing at Lakeside or the Circus Tavern?
As far as success I won one major at Lakeside being the World Championship, and one senior champion at the Circus Tavern with the PDC. So it’s fairly level as far as that is concerned. Being old school like I am, I grew up in the day when we had quiet in the audience as the people who came to watch were all darts fans and knew what game on meant. I’m not being derogatory to the modern fan but 90% of them aren’t darts players, they are just looking for a great night out. Now I haven’t got a problem with that as it’s their money that allows the lads to earn life changing money, but the atmosphere is completely different.
Would you have liked to have played in the Premier League? And If you could pick a 10 player Premier League past and present who would you pick?
What a great question. I would have loved to have played in the Premier League, but it came just a little late for me. I remember Barry Hearn once saying to me just before I retired in 2007, the big money in darts is going to come just too late for you Bobby, but of course I would have loved to have played in the Premier League.
If I could pick 10 players to grace a Premier League stage, what a great question. There would be some charters that’s for sure. Eric at his best would be a star, John Lowe and Jockey would be in Alan Evans and Leighton Rees and dare I say it myself. I would haved love to have played in this Premier League. From the crop of today’s players Phil without question, Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson and Ray Barneveld, I think that’s 10. Sorry to anyone I have omitted.
Do you think it’s easier for the top professionals to win ranking events? As back in your day ranking events were best of 5, now they are best of 11.
Back in the day the best of 5 was a rapid format and anyone could beat anyone, the longer the game the better player should always win. You would want your champion to be the best player at the event. I like the longer format.
Phil at his bet or Michael at his best who wins?
That’s like saying Muhammad Ali at his best of Anthony Joshua at his best. But at their best I would say Phil. Michael is explosive but every now and then has a little dip, I don’t remember Phil having too many dips. I would just edge it to Phil at his best. In the world today I don’t see anyone beating Michael if he’s on. Which just shows how much the bar has been raised, I remember playing Jelle Klaasen in a best of 7 game earlier this year. It was over very quickly, I lost 4-0 averaged just over 100 myself but Jelle was averaging 119. After I thought I definitely retired at the right time.
The draw for the World Matchplay has just been done what did you think of the draw, and who would be your pick?
There are a few banana skins in the first round, David Chisnall v Benito van de Pas, Kim Huybrechts v Gerwyn Price are both finely balanced ties. Alan Norris could cause an upset if Gary Anderson isn’t at his best and Robbie Green Phil Taylor could be a cracking game.
I was looking at the draw and I have a feeling that Jelle Klaasen could go all the way, he’s a very talented young man who is playing well. So I think he could do very well at the Winter Gardens.
Huge thank you to Bob for taking time out of his schedule to talk to us.