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6 of John Lowe’s Most Memorable Moments in Darts

Iconic images from John Lowe's darts career
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When it comes to the legends of darts, John Lowe is a name at the top of the pyramid alongside the likes of Eric Bristow and Phil Taylor. 

Each brought their own personality and ability to make darts what it is today and John Lowe (MBE) is one of the most beloved darts players of all-time as well as having the accolades to back it up!

Known as “Old Stoneface” for his calm demeanour under pressure, Lowe’s career is dotted with incredible achievements that left fans and competitors in awe. 

Today, we want to take a brief look back on his glittering career and highlight some of the most memorable moments that John Lowe had in darts. 

6. Contributions to the Growth of the Sport

We just want to start by acknowledging the impact John Lowe has had on darts. He worked in the building trade as a carpenter and was 21 before he ever threw a dart!

It’s fair to say he picked the game up quickly.

On his personal website, Lowe states that he won the World Master, British Open and News of the World in quick succession and that he actually won fifteen major events in a row during that period! 

Throughout his career, he was one of the most winning-est players to have ever played darts. 

We don’t want to give any spoilers as his playing achievements make an appearance on this list but he’s an undisputed top 10 player of all-time with many having him top 5 or even top 3. 

He had one of the longest careers in the sport spanning four decades and was one of the contributing factors for its growth. 

He was a founding member of the PDC in an effort to move the sport forward and has also acted as the Chairman and Secretary of the Association for the Professional Dart Players Association (PDPA). 

A true ambassador for the sport, Lowe became an MBA for his contributions to darts and also for his charity work with Macmillan Cancer Charity. 

His contribution to darts is top tier on every level. While his career isn’t exactly a ‘best moment’, we thought it was good to just recognise his overall contribution to darts rather than looking at one particular moment. 

Having said that, we do of course have some notable moments…

5. Earned an MBE

This list is numbered but it’s not ranked. 

If it was, earning an MBE for darts would surely need to be top of the list!

Winning darts titles is the main thing within darts but when you zoom out, being recognised by the Royal Family and your country means more than just the sport/game you’re being honoured for. 

We have a good sized social community and whenever we post questions, John Lowe’s name comes up most frequently alongside Eric Bristow. 

The phrases that people always use in relation to Lowe?


Everyone loved Lowe and while he wasn’t the biggest personality on the oche (hence the nickname ‘old stoneface’) his ability and performance more than made up for it. 

In 2018, Lowe was awarded an MBE for his services to darts and to charity. He was already in the PDC Hall of Fame at this point but the MBE has basically cemented Lowe as darts royalty for the rest of time. 

4. Unicorn Partnership

Besides the Taylor-Target combination, there arguably isn’t a better partnership in darts than John Lowe and Unicorn darts. 

In honesty, this is probably THE partnership as Unicorn claim on their website that this is the longest running sponsorship deal in the world, in any sport!

Source – 

This sponsorship/partnership is the longest of any in the game spanning over four decades and with it came the incredibly iconic creation for the John Lowe barrel. 

The Unicorn John Lowe phase 1-3 are iconic. Lowe worked with Unicorn to craft the perfect dart and while his dart didn’t suit the majority of players due to the oversized taper, it more than suited his game. 

Watching him squeeze those huge barrels into the T20 with such accuracy was amazing in itself. 

When you watch highlights to this day, it really makes you wonder what sort of averages he could have had with the slim profiles of modern darts?

Darts aside, when you look back at early era darts, Lowe and Unicorn create nostalgia like no-other. 

3. Old Stoneface Broke Character

John Lowe is known as a true gentleman of darts. While Bristow was always very animated, Lowe was literally the opposite. 

Reserved, quite serious and little fluctuation when it comes to emotion earned him the late nickname ‘old stoneface’. 

Well, Bobby George, an incredibly eccentric and animated player once forced ‘old stoneface’ to break character. 

In a match between the pair, George on 216 to Lowe’s 41, hit a 180 to pile the pressure on the throw. To celebrate? 

He pulled his shirt pocket down to the crowd revealing his nipple 😅 This was such a random act that the cameras even caught Lowe cracking a smile. 

He probably didn’t know what else to do at the site of George flashing himself but looking back it’s definitely an underrated funny moment in darts that we don’t see too often. 

2. Winning the World Championship in Three Different Decades

John Lowe isn’t just a one-hit wonder; he has an enduring legacy that spans decades.

Lowe won the World Championship in 1979, 1987, and 1993. This makes him only 1 of 6 players to win it 3 or more times and Phil Taylor is the only other player to do it in 3 separate decades. 

Not bad company!

His first win in 1979 came against Leighton Rees winning 5-0, the second was probably his best though. 

Against long time rival Eric Bristow he’d lost to him on 3 separate occasions at the World Championships but in 1987, he finally beat Bristow 6-4 to secure his second. 

Finally, he beat Alan Warriner in 1993 to earn his third victory before moving from the BDO to the WDC (later becoming the PDC).  

Overall, Lowe earned 15 Majors titles and 17 runner-up placings through an illustrious career and dozens of minor tournament titles. 

No really, looking at Wikipedia it looks like he might have won well over a hundred titles throughout his career and he also has dozens of gold medals representing England making him a true titan of darts. 

If you want some nostalgia and John Lowe action, check out his 1987 final against Bristow below: 

Quick note to get the popcorn out as this is a 2 hour video!

1. The First Televised Nine-Darter (1984)

Let’s start with the big one. In 1984, John Lowe did the unthinkable: he hit the first-ever televised nine-dart finish. 

This happened during the MFI World Matchplay against Keith Deller and not only did this historic moment earn Lowe a cool £102,000 (£350,000 when adjusted for inflation today), but it also cemented his place in darts history books.

Interesting fact: Lowe said after he paid tax on the £102,000 winnings, he put the remaining amount in a pension fund and said it was the best decision he ever made. 

John Lowe remarked that “being the first will never be forgotten” showing how proud he was of this achievement whilst acknowledging that he will be remembered in darting history. 

He’s quite a humble/modest person so it’s good to hear him recognising his own impact on the game from time to time. 

The nine-darter is the most watched darts video on YouTube with 15,000,000 views and just shows what an historic achievement this was for darts. 

The video was only posted 6 years ago meaning it’s appeal and viewership is from multiple generations of darts fans. 

SEE ALSO 👉 Remembering John Lowe’s HISTORIC first televised 9-darter

John Lowe’s career is filled with moments that not only shocked but also inspired the darts world. 

From his historic nine-darter to his incredible longevity and contributions to the sport, Lowe’s legacy is one that will be remembered for generations to come. 

His ability to deliver under pressure, innovate, and push the boundaries of what’s possible in darts makes him a true icon of the game.

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