WHAT A TEAM . . . THE OLDEST, AND BEST!
TAKEN FROM A REPRINT SPORTS ARGUS SATURDAY OCTOBER 24TH 1981
Way back in August 1947 the Sports Argus Charity Darts Squad played their first ever charity darts match and their opponents were the B.S.A. Small Heath.
Now the lads in red are in their 35th season and have completed 1,000 games for various charities throughout the Midlands following last night’s event.
Following the recent survey by Derek Brown of the Daily Mirror it is believed the Sports Argus are the oldest and longest running charity squad in existence and they have a remarkable record both in raising cash for charity and for the results.
Going back to 1947 the player who represented the Sports Argus was:
• DICK GUY
• ARTHUR CORNS
• JACK PRESTON
• ARTHUR GRANT
• ARTHUR KERR
• FRED RICHMAN
• JOHN BEALE
• ALF WARD
• JACK GRIFFTHS
• BILLY BUTLER
The result of the match was four each on the same evening the Sports Argus also met the B.S.A Combine and took a 6-3 win and now 35 seasons later the Sport Argus team still travels the Midlands meeting league representative teams and carrying on the excellent work which was started by the original lads.
The teams record is second to none, before last night’s match the 1000 game against the Sheldon Darts League report below, the Sports Argus had played 999 games and gained 906 victories, a terrific record when you consider the class of opposition and that up to 1957 all games were 1 game 301 double start, it would be interesting to see some of the big names of today throwing one game with as much success.
Such is the strength of the Argus team that during the 34 seasons , less than one hundred players have represented the lads in red and the present outfit have proved their worth by gaining 111 wins in their 117 games.
Taking the official Friday night games, the matches have produced in excess of £85,000 but the lads have also played many other games for charity which would increase that figure considerably.
The raised is usually shared between the Give a Girl Health fund run by the Sunday Mercury and the Birmingham Mail Xmas Tree Fund.
Mr H Beasley, who was instrumental in forming the team way back in 1947 was, certainly was before his time in the darts world for he had ideas concerning representative darts that have only been realised in the past ten years.
At the time Mr Beasley who was the local darts correspondent, going under the name of treble twenty and was responsible for setting up the Midland Counties Darts Alliance formed in 1958.
He was in charge of the squad until his death in 1964, when at that stage the team had played 479 games and winning 423 for a success average of 88.30%
The team was taken over by Bill Baily sports correspondent who also took over the local darts news, Bill remained manager for ten seasons until he retired and under his lead the team played 317 games with 293 successes for a winning average of 92.42%.
Ken Herbert (See Sports Argus Milestones below), the present manager, took over in the season of 1974and as seen the team through 203 games gaining 190 wins for a winning average 93.59% and the winning averages over the 999 games is a fantastic 90.69%.
Over the years the Argus teams have some great matches which as produced some fine performances none better than the six dart game by Len Cotton which remains the only 6 darter in an Argus match.
The match against Netherton in 1980 produced 90 scores of 100 plus and against Warley in 1979 the Argus team of nine rattled in 50 ton plusses.
Going over the records many fine players have represented the Argus team including
• Brain Vaux – Who gained many English International caps
• Paul Tunley – Who represented the N.D.A.O.G.B. against America
• Bob Baxter – Unicorn Champion
• Len Cotton
• Ivor Davies
• Bill Faragher
• Harold Flukes
• Bill Gorst
• Arthur Grant
• Johny Matthews
• Tom Peed
• Keith Pervis
• Fred Sherman
• Ivor Chaplin
• Fred Willmot
• Johny Venn
Plus many more who made their mark in Midland Darts over the years.
One player from the early days who played in the first match is of course still with us and still known throughout the Midlands as a fine compere ,none other than Fred Richman, who is still as keen as ever when it comes to Friday nights.
The present team is certainly living up to the Argus tradition and contains many fine players who give up their time on Friday nights includes
• Bernard Manton – Who recently won the World Amateur Individual title
• Dave Baldwin – A former Warwickshire Champion
• Brian Pearce – The Brum ‘Ton Machine’
• Billy Taylor – Winner of many Local honours
• Des Lewis – The former Warwickshire Champion of Champions
• Alan Towe – Warwickshire B.D.O. Champion
• Martin Wadsworth – Current Small Heath Champion
• Micky Lewis – Former Midlands runner up in the News of the World
• Bill Ewer – Fromer Warwickshire Finalist
• Bant Singh – 1980 Wetterns open Champion
• Stan Scott - Warwickshire County star
• Mangal Singh – Cresta Rothmans Open Champion
• Benny Harper – Redditch and Bromsgrove Champion
• Rueb Sampson – Coleshill & Forest of Arden Champion
• Dave Miller – Sports Argus Champion
• Arnie Bunn – Nuneaton & Atherstone Champion
• Tony Blackmore – A young player who have a great darting future
• Steve Daniels - A young player who have a great darting future
Making up the present line up is the best chalker in the Midlands is Bill Mosdale from Sheldon who is seen in all the big games, including Internationals and Audrey Herbert who takes the scores.
SPORTS ARGUS MILESTONES
SPORTS ARGUS 1000th GAME VERUS SHELDON DARTS LEAGUE
TAKEN FROM A REPRINT SPORTS ARGUS SATURDAY OCTOBER 24TH 1981
SHELDON MAKE IT A GREAT NIGHT
What a night . . . both the Sheldon Darts League and the Sports Argus were determined to make it a big match to remember . . . and on all counts they succeeded!!
The Argus team turned in a top class show to gain an 8-1 success in their 1,000 match and the Sheldon League proved magnificent host’s for this special evening.
It concluded with a check for £200 being presented to the Sports Argus Charity Fund and the promise that the final figure will be near a magnificent £350.
Prior to the game, special mementoes to both squads, plus ex members of the Sports Argus team who was present,
• Dick Guy
• Les Pickford
• Bill Gorst
• Johnny Matthews
• John Venn
• Stan Beedon
• Bunny Martin
Who represented various squads since their formation in 1947, The Sheldon League also presented a plaque to the Sports Argus to commemorate the occasion.
• At No 1 Mangal Singh swept the Argus into a 1-0 lead hitting 86 away,80 and 85 for a 2-0 win against old opponent Alan Meades (Delta) who replied with 140,140 and 93
• At No 2 Micky Lewis despite hitting a 100 found himself 1-0 down to Ray Butler (Aquarius) but soon recovered to hit 121,100 plus 137 and out in 12 darts for a 2-1 success, Top shots for Ray were 100,97 and 96
• At No 3 Benny Harper soon took command against Mel Smith (Delta) hitting 107 away and 95,following up with 100 plus 80 to register 12 and 13 dart games against Mel’s 85,85 and 81
• At No 4 Tony Blackmore found a tough opponent in John Charles (Aquarius) who hit 138 away ,85,140 and 81 but victory went to Tony 2-1, helped with shot’s of 112 away, plus 100 bringing the score to 4-0 in favour of the Sports Argus
• At No 5 Bant Singh again found top form as he stormed 1-0 up against Jim Norris (King of Bohemia) hitting 95 away,85 and finishing on 81, including the bull for a 12 dart success, the second leg saw the Argus star hit 80 away, plus 100,but Jim fought back with 80 away 100 and 85 to level the game, two tons from Jim in the third leg was not enough to stop Bant as he hit 100,100 and 81 game shot and out in 11 darts for a 2-1 which ensured success for the Sports Argus.
• At No 6 Martin Wadsworth gained his revenge against Les Juxon (Coleshill) with a smart 2-0 success which included 100 and 80 against his opponent’s shots of 100, 83, 94 away and 83.
• At No 7 Bernard Manton World Amateur Champion took the score line to 7-0 despite a tremendous effort from Alan Mayell (Toby Jug) who hit 80 away 89 away 100,81,82 and 81, Bernard hit 81,100,97 and 100, finding the doubles when they counted for a 2-1 win.
• At No 8 At last Sheldon had something to cheer when Argus newcomer Dave Miller hitting 140 and 85, went down to Jim Keirnan (Custard House) who hit 100,97,97 and 80 for a 2-1 win.
• At No 9 the Sports Argus resumed control of the final game through Billy Taylor 111 away, 125 and 100 gaining a 2-0 win against Frankie Keye (Delta), Bills win brought the final score to 8-1.
With the Argus winning 17 legs and losing only six – a great win on a very special night for the famous squad the Sports Argus
GOOD ARROWS: Argus team are still hitting the target for charity after 60 years
Treble tops ... and still going strong
Ken Herbert and his team of dedicated darters continue to hit the bullseye for needy causes after more than 60 years on the oche.
The Sports Argus Charity Darts team were formed in 1947 to take on all- comers from around the Midlands and have raised well in excess of £100,000.
The exact figure will never be known as they did not keep detailed records for the first thirty years.
The team turned up, took on the locals and the cash raised was often handed over on the night to a local good cause or the Mail charity of the time, in 1974 though, the then Argus editor Ian Johnson persuaded Ken to take on the job as manager,
And Ken of Shirley, has not only fulfilled that role to great effect since then but has become their unofficial historian as they have continued the tradition of taking on anyone and everyone.
And with 60 years behind them, the team have proved time and again they are not too bad at the game.
Ken, now 72, said: “Since we started in 1947 we have played 1,693 games and we have won 1,550 and lost just 143 – which is not a bad record”
In the past 30 years the Sport Argus darters’ fundraising has included £30,000 each to the Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the Birmingham Mail Charity.
Earlier this year a match against the R.A.F. Club in Sheldon raised a remarkable £2,000 but Ken said: “They had been working and collecting for a couple of months before raising that money.”
So far this season which runs from October to April 14 games have been played and more than £6,000 rose and Ken reckons on playing about 25 games a year with his players selected from among the best in clubs around the regions.
He says I love the game and I love playing and I will carry on until I drop it’s a lovely night out.”
“Some clubs try to beat us but most just play for charity and it’s a great evening.”
Ken’s stalwarts are his skipper, Derek Duggan and Jimmy Norris, who have been in the team for 25 years and the only two players to have notched up more than 500 games for the team.
He said “We have a couple who have reached 480 but they are the only ones to reach 500.”
And that, as they on the oche, is a lot of 180’s and a lot of cash they have helped to raised
The above article by kind permission of Roger Clarke of the Birmingham Mail
READ KEN HERBERT’S DARTS COLUMN EVERY SATURDAY IN YOU FREE. 16 PAGE SPORTS ARUGUS PULL OUT
KEN ‘Top Cat’ HERBERT
Ken Herbert last night choose his 900th Team Selection for The Sports Argus Charity Squad against The Brookmeadow Select at The Brookmeadow, Shard End, Birmingham, Ken’s first game as the boss was Friday 12th October 1974 against The West Birmingham Summer League at The West Birmingham Conservative Club, The result was a 8-1 victory to The Sports Argus, Up till last night 'Top Cat' had selected 899 games with 835 wins and only 64 Defeats, What remarkable achievement congratulations Ken & Audrey
THE FIRST SPORTS ARGUS SQUAD WITH TOP CAT
KEN HERBERT (MANAGER)
AUDREY HERBERT (SECRETARY)
FRED RICMOND (CAPTAIN / COMPERE)
RAY NEED (MARKER)
Now that's what I Call THE SPORTS ARGUS LEGEND's
By Stokesey Birmingham Scene
SPORTS ARGUS INDIVIDUAL RECORDS
PLAYING RECORDS AS AT MARCH 4TH 2008 SPORTS ARGUS CHARITY DARTS SQUAD
• MOST TONS IN A 501 MATCH v OLDBURY 27.11.87
M WADSWORTH - 4
R STOKES - 7
E HACKETT - 5
T MULLINS - 6
B NIXON - 6
S PARKES - 7
G STAMPS - 5
D DUGGAN - 7
J NORRIS - 5
J SHAW - 3
A CROFT - 4
I HARTLAND - 9
D HAYES - 8
K WILLIAMS - 6
W KERNOHAN - 7
N DARBY - 7
D BOURNE - 3
W HARRISON - 5
• MOST TONS BY A SPORTS ARGUS TEAM IN A501 MATCH v HALESOWEN 6.12.91
M WADSWORTH - 4
C FARRINGTON - 7
D MARSH - 9
G PLAYER - 9
B NIXON - 8
P NIXON - 8
G JAMES - 5
D DUGGAN - 6
J NORRIS - 2
• MOST TONS RECORDED IN A 301 MATCH AGAINST THE BRITISH LEYLAND IN 1979
M SINGH - 4
B EWER - 3
D BALDWIN -1
G ANSLEY - 4
B SINGH - 3
A TOWE - 3
B MANTON - 1
D LEWIS - 3
B TAYLOR - 3
OUR OPPONENTS SHOT 14 TONS
• MOST TONS RECORDED BY A SPORTS ARGUS TEAM PLAYING IN A 301 MATCH v COLESHILL 22.1.88
T MULLINS - 5
C FARRINGTON - 3
S PARKES - 2
R STOKES - 5
B NIXON - 3
P NIXON - 3
G STAMPS - 3
D DUGGAN - 2
J NORRIS - 2
• BETWEEN NOVEMBER 1987 UNTIL MARCH 1991 THE SPORTS ARGUS
CHARITY SQUAD PLAYED 93 GAMES UNBEATEN
• 501 UP EDDIE HACKETT 10 DARTS v BIRMINGHAM ALLIANCE NOVEMBER 1986 - 140 180 131 BULL FINISH
• 301 UP LEN COTTOM 6 DARTS v TIVIDALE MARCH 12TH 1965 - 134 BREAK - 167 CHECKOUT
• JIM NORRIS 6 DARTS v SHELDON NOVEMBER 18TH 1988 - 148 BREAK - 153 CHECKOUT
• MOST TONS IN A SEASON – 127 GRAHAM STAMPS - 1988-89
127 EDDIE HACKETT 1986-87
• SUCCESSIVE WINS NOT TO SURE ON THIS ONE BUT I HAVE BILL FARAGHER WITH 43 WINS
BOB NIXON HAS RECORDED 33 SUCCESSIVE WINS 1989-90
• MOST TONS IN A MATCH (11) RAY ELLISON
OCTOBER 10TH 1984 v NETHERTON 2X140 9X100
NOVEMBER 16TH 1984 v HALESOWEN 180 121F 2X140 7X100
• TOP RECORDED AVERAGE NOVEMBER 1986 EDDIE HACKETT 14 & 10 DARTS FOR A 41.74 AVERAGE
SPORTS ARGUS – KEEP IT IN FAMILY
• IVOR and ERIC CHAPLIN WAS BROTHERS
• LOU,DEREK and KEITH DUGGAN FATHER and TWO SONS
• BILLY and GARY TAYLOR FATHER AND SON
SPORTS ARGUS – FACTS and FIGURES
• RAY ELLISON SCORED 11 TON PLUSES IN TWO GAMES FIRSTLY v NETHERTON 19.10.84 (2 x 140 and 9 x 100 ) secondly v HALESOWEN 16.11.94 ( 180,121f,2 x 140 and 7 X 100 )
• BERNARD MANTON HAD 10 x 100+ IN ONE GAME
• EDDIE HACKETT finished one leg of 501 in 10 Darts
• LEN COTTON finished one leg of 301 in 6 Darts
SPORTS ARGUS – INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
1979 MICKY LEWIS
1980 DAVE MILLER
1981 ALAN TOWE
1982 GEOF WARNER
1983 COLIN FOWLER
1984 STEVE DAVIES
1985 KEN HUSBAND
1986 COLIN FARRINGTON
1987 MARK HOLLYOAKE
1991 MARK WALL
1992 BOB NIXON
1993 PAUL HOGAN
1994 STEVE PARKES
1995 STEVE CAIN
1996 STEVE CAIN
1997 MARTIN ANGEL
1998 KELVIN CHAMBERS
1999 KELVIN CHAMBERS
2000 BILL HADLEY
2001 GARY TAYLOR
2002 ALLAN SHARRETT
2003 BOB NIXON
2004 ADRIAN ARNOLD
2005 TOM McGLONE
2006 BOB NIXON
2007 BOB NIXON
2008 NICK BACHE
2009 BOB NIXON
The Sports Argus held three closed events for sports Argus players only in 1975 1976 and 1977; all three events were won by Barry Caldicott
SPORTS ARGUS – CHIRSTMAS KNOCKOUT WINNERS
2005 Adrian Arnold
2006 Tony Randell
2007 Tony Randell
2008 Chris Stokes
SPORTS ARGUS – CURRENT 2007 – 2008 SQUAD
Derek Duggan (Captain)
Ken Herbert (Manager)
Audrey Herbert (Secretary)
Val Arnold (Marker)
Keith Duggan (Compere)
Jim Gilfoyle (Compere)
Dennis Stokes (Official)