|Interview Steve Brown||Back||1||2||3||4||5||6||Forward|
Steve, you started to play league when you were 13, at which age did you start to play darts?
When I was about 10 years old. My dad had been playing darts locally for years, and was on crutches after a serious motorcycle accident. With his sporting activities now somewhat limited, he took darts a little more seriously, and finally hung a board at home. From there, it was an easy choice...
Would you say it gives you an advantage to start young?
Absolutely. However, the main advantage for me was the fact that from the start, I was learning from those around me - and I don't mean just my dad.
What was the first tournament you did play in?
I can't really recall what my first "real" tournament was, but it was quite possibly the Surrey Open. I did compete in the men's singles at a holiday camp when I was 13 - and won. It was pretty much a little fun event for the holidaymakers, along with putting, lawn bowls, and snooker. It was 301 SIDO, and I played really well in the final. I won the first leg in 10 darts, and then clinched the title with a double bull finish.
Did you ever take a break playing darts?
Not as such. I did take almost three weeks off back in 1980, when I came to Florida on vacation, and I'll admit it set me back a little.
As your father played darts as well it probably was only consistent you started to play- is this starting young in a dart playing surrounding one of the advantages the UK players have compared with the players from the US?
Of course. As I said, it was a lot better for me, not just learning from my dad, but from the experienced players around me. My first local league team (when I was 13) included three England players.
What other advantages have the UK players?
I'm sick of hearing that the British are so much better than the Americans, because honestly, I don't feel that there is that great a difference. The big differences are attitude and experience, which can give them a distinct advantage. Even with local leagues in the UK, the players are there primarily to play darts. Sure, they may want to have fun and have a few drinks, but NOT at the expense of the darts.
And is playing darts still as wide spread in the UK as it was when you were a child or has it changed?
Having been away for all these years, that's not really an easy question to answer. Truthfully, from what little I see and hear, I would say "no". One of the main reasons is that we have lost so many of the good old English pubs. They've either turned into wine bars and other yuppie hangouts - minus the dartboards, of course - or they have simply been demolished in order to make way for housing and supermarkets.