Patrick Chaplin (Dr Darts) has turned 70 a milestone in his life and celebrated by his main sponsor Winmau with a unique, one-off dartboard. I guess few darts will be thrown into this board as it looks too precious to damage.
Patrick, known to all true dart fans, has been researching the history of darts for several decades. He is the first person many turn to when they have a query relating to the sport. Although he may confess not to know all the answers, he does his best to provide a helpful answer to all genuine enquiries.
I have personally known Patrick for sixteen plus years and have collaborated with him on his earlier websites and provided some information, mostly graphics his use on the web or in books that he has written about the sport.
One thing I have found when following my research is not to believe all that is written, and verification nearly always needs to be obtained to qualify something as real history. As much as there is real information on the web, there is also a similar quantity of untruths, ‘Chinese Whispers’, or misinterpretations and on the odd occasion straight lies that are recorded as history. Some writer and bloggers guess theories, but very few take the time to verify and quantify what they may write about the sport. However, Dr Patrick Chaplin is one of the few exceptions. In December 2006, after more than ten years part-time, self-funded research he was awarded a PhD by the Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge for his thesis on the social history of Darts in England 1900-1939. The prestigious Manchester University Press published a book based upon that research entitled Darts in England 1900-1939 – A social history in 2009 with a paperback version followed in 2012.
Patrick has also confirmed he is currently working on a sequel to his darts history book. The new book will also cover dart stars of the past such as Jim Pike and Joe Hitchcock whose life stories have never, until now, been properly recorded.
Patrick also has been a contributor to Darts World Magazine for many years, giving up his column in February 2020. He has also featured in darts history documentaries for the BBC and ‘The Story of Darts’ video in 2002.
Although I have a brief history of the sport on the Darts501.com website, if you want to read more about the past 100 years and players from the past then take a look at Patrick’s website where he shares lots of information. However, his books always cover more so I suggest you subscribe to his FREE monthly Dr Darts’ Newsletter and I am sure you will be kept informed of his latest and potentially last book on the sport.
Patrick is also Chairman of the Pub History Society (www.pubhistorysociety.co.uk) and has written two local history books about Langford (Essex) the village in which he was brought up.
Here is a list of Patrick’s past publications which also includes dart players autobiographies and joint ventures dart stars:
Darts in England, 1900-1939 – A social history (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009. Paperback edition 2012)
The Official Bar Guide to Darts (New York: Puzzlewright Press, 2010)
180! – Fascinating Darts Facts (Stroud: The History Press, 2012)
Darts. Skills. Tactics. Techniques. (Ramsbury: The Crowood Press, 2015)
John Lowe – Old Stoneface: The Autobiography of Britain’s Greatest Darts Player (London: John Blake, 2005. Revised paperback edition 2009)
The Art of Darts – A Masterclass with 3-time World Darts Champion (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2009)
Golden Girl – The Autobiography of the Greatest Ever Ladies Darts Player (London: John Blake, 2008)
Scoring for Show, Doubles for Dough – Bobby George’s Darts Lingo (Clacton-on-Sea: Apex Publishing Ltd., 2011)