Local darts legend Phil Simpson recently celebrated his 150th appearance for Buckinghamshire, and is now targeting the county record.
Left-hander Simpson plays for and is sponsored by Bletchley Working Men’s Club and dedicates his award to lifelong best friend James Dell, who is terminally ill.
The landmark comes after many years of not only being available, but playing at a high enough standard to be selected for the county side, who play only nine times per year – which adds up to over 16 years of consistency from Simpson.
A popular character on the local darts scene, Simpson – whose pre-match entrance music is the theme song to The Simpsons – has enjoyed a long and illustrious playing career, which has seen him rub shoulders with some of the world’s most famous players.
Picking up an array of regional and national titles over the years, Simpson stood toe-to-toe with both Jocky Wilson and Eric Bristow in the 1980s, and even managed to beat the likes of Bobby George, Martin Adams and Tony O’Shea.
But even though he has reached a county milestone that few can boast, Simpson isn’t ready to hang up his darts just yet, and is even hoping to go on and break the record number of appearances for Buckinghamshire, standing at 230.
“I just love it,” said the 45-year-old, who has achieved six maximum 170 checkouts in his career. “I still have the passion to play all the time and I’ll see if I can get the record.
“I play for Bletchley Working Men’s Club and I’m very grateful to them for sponsoring me.
“I’ve dedicated the award to James. We’ve been friends since we were six and have grown up together, playing darts together. I’d like to go on and play for as long as I can.”