In the not-too-distant past there was one darts competition which ranked above all others.
Sponsored by the now-defunct News of the World newspaper, The Individual Darts Championship for England And Wales was known as the championship every player wanted to win.
And in Tom Reddington, Derbyshire boasts a master of the oche who was a double winner of what was once the planet’s premier tournament.
Nobody ever lifted that particular crown three times but Tom, who sadly died at the age of 52, was of one of six starts to achieve the accolade twice.
Tom, from Mickley, was nominated for the North Derbyshire Hall of Fame by Anthony Taylor who said: “He was the sort of person who had the nerve to perform on the big stage. If he had been around today, he would have been up there with the best of them.’’
The competition attracted thousands of entries from all over the country and it was considered one of the hardest competitions to win as the format was the best of three legs throughout every round.
Tom, representing the New Inn, Stonebroom, battled his way to the final in 1954/55 which was staged in the Empress Hall at Earl’s Court.
In the final he met Johnny Bell, from Waltham Abbey, and won 2-0.
Tom, a miner who worked at local collieries, demonstrated his talent for the arrows by reaching the final for a second time in 1959/60. It took place at Wembley Arena’s Empire Pool and Tony was throwing on behalf of the George Hotel at Alfreton.
Welshman Dai Jones, from Aberystwyth, was the other finalist, but Tom proved his class by winning the 2-1 to join that select band of players.
In addition to winning the crown twice, Tom qualified for the London finals as Midlands Counties Champion no fewer than four times.
There were other subsequent Derbyshire winners of the tournament before it was staged for the final time in 1996/97.
The late Barry Twomlow, representing the Red Lion, Chesterfield, captured the title in 1968/69 while three-times World Champion John Lowe, throwing for the Willow Tree at Pilsley, was a winner in 1980/81. But there is only one double winner from Derbyshire. Welcome to the Hall of Fame, Tom.
Who would you like to see added to the Hall of Fame? Send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (01246) 504528.
Tom’s family are keen to hear from darts fans who have memorabilia, such as programmes, relating to their father. Kevin Reddington can be contacted on 0774 6234081.