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John Lowe

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Old Stoneface

John Lowe

Playing darts since


Home town

Walk-on music
Smoke On The Water

Karen Lowe (m. 1972)


Darts Player

John Lowe Darts interview with John Lowe at Darts 1

21 July 1945 (age 78) New Tupton, Derbyshire, England (

1993–2007 (Founding Member)

World Ch'ship
Winner 1979, 1987, 1993

The Art of Darts, Interviews: My Worst Nightmare

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John Lowe (born 21 July 1945) is a former World No. 1 English professional darts player who was one of the most skilled and best known darts players during the 1970s and 1980s, particularly in the United Kingdom. Lowe is one of only six players to have won the World Championship three times, having done so in 1979, 1987 and 1993. He is the first player to have won the World Championship in three separate decades. Lowe's titles and achievements span a career of almost forty years, but he is also well known for being the first player to achieve a televised nine-dart finish (in 1984).


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Lowe won the World Championship title in three different decades – 1979, 1987 and 1993. Although regarded as the gentleman of the game, he was in the shadow of Eric Bristow in the early days of darts' rise to prominence – in terms both of results and of charisma. He met Bristow six times in the World Championship in various semi-finals and finals, and it was not until his fourth attempt (in the 1987 final) that he managed to overcome his great rival. His record against the "Crafty Cockney" in majors was three wins and six defeats.

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Lowe achieved the ultimate feat in darts on 13 October 1984 during the World Matchplay tournament against Keith Deller, when he managed a nine-dart finish – the sport's equivalent of a 147 break in snooker. This was the first time it had ever been accomplished by any darts player whilst being televised. Lowe won £102,000 for this success. He went on to win the tournament.

John Lowe World Darts Championship 1995 semifinal Phil Taylor vs

In addition to his three world titles Lowe has also won two World Masters titles, two British Open titles, two British Matchplay championships, two World Cup Singles and three European Cup Singles Titles, as well as countless other titles around the world in a hugely successful career. He played for England over 100 times and was captain for seven years, during which time his team were unbeaten.

He also gained credit for his decorum and sportsmanship at the oche, often in notable contrast to the gifted but arrogant Bristow. He was also probably unique in darts in that he looked after his health, never developing the weight difficulties associated with darts players, though he did consume alcohol onstage alongside other players when it was still permitted during matches.

Nicknames have always been common in darts, but Lowe never really had one which caught on. A studious, composed performer, he didn't have anything which stood out in his demeanour or personality – until someone decided to use these very traits to come up with the soubriquet of Old Stoneface. This is also the title of Lowe's autobiography which was published in 2005.

Lowe has enjoyed a longevity at the sport. He played in the televised stages of the World Championship for a record 28 consecutive years, from the inaugural championship in 1978 to his last appearance in 2005 where he was defeated by the Canadian John Verwey in a final leg tie-break. This feat will have matched by Phil Taylor while he will be playing at the 2017 PDC World Championship.

He was secretary of the World Professional Dart Players Association (later to become the Professional Dart Players Association (PDPA)) and in 2005 enjoyed a testimonial year in the sport to commemorate his 30th year as a professional. He still attempted to qualify for the World Championship each year until 2008, but fell short in the early qualifying rounds. After joining a short-lived venture, the Setanta Sports-televised BetFred League of Legends in 2008, Lowe became ineligible to compete at the PDC World Championship so could not attempt to qualify for the 2009 event.

In May 2009 Lowe released a book, The Art of Darts, in which he offered his personal insights into the game to both amateur and aspiring professional dart players. In 2013 The Art of Darts was produced in app form for the Apple iPhone and iPad; it is a 45-minute masterclass containing coaching and tips from Lowe.

Lowe planned an exhibition tour of the United States in November and December 2011, with possible stops including Boston, New York and Las Vegas.

In 2014 Lowe was one of several celebrities to take part in ITV's new game show Amazing Greys, in which members of the public take on icons of British sport and entertainment.

Personal life

Lowe was born in New Tupton, Derbyshire. He is married to Karen and lives in Chesterfield, from where they both support Sunderland.


  • 1978: Runner Up (lost to Leighton Rees 7–11 legs)
  • 1979: Winner (beat Leighton Rees 5–0 sets)
  • 1980: 2nd Round (lost to Cliff Lazarenko 0–2)
  • 1981: Runner Up (lost to Eric Bristow 3–5)
  • 1982: Runner Up (lost to Jocky Wilson 3–5)
  • 1983: Quarter-Finals (lost to Keith Deller 3–4)
  • 1984: Semi-Finals (lost to Eric Bristow 0–6)
  • 1985: Runner Up (lost to Eric Bristow 2–6)
  • 1986: Quarter-Finals (lost to Bob Anderson 3–4)
  • 1987: Winner (beat Eric Bristow 6–4)
  • 1988: Runner Up (lost to Bob Anderson 4–6)
  • 1989: Semi-Finals (lost to Eric Bristow 1–5)
  • 1990: 2nd Round (lost to Ronnie Sharp 2–3)
  • 1991: 1st Round (lost to Peter Evison 2–3)
  • 1992: Semi-Finals (lost to Phil Taylor 4–5)
  • 1993: Winner (beat Alan Warriner-Little 6–3)
  • PDC

  • 1994: Last 24 Group (beat Tom Kirby 3–2 & (lost to Larry Butler 2–3)
  • 1995: Semi-Finals (lost to Phil Taylor 4–5)
  • 1996: Semi-Finals (lost to Phil Taylor 1–5)
  • 1997: Last 24 Group (lost to Jamie Harvey 2–3) & (beat Paul Lim 3–1)
  • 1998: Last 24 Group (lost to Peter Manley 0–3) & (lost to Gary Mawson 0–3)
  • 1999: 2nd Round (lost to Phil Taylor 1–3)
  • 2000: Quarter-Finals (lost to Dennis Smith 3–5)
  • 2001: 2nd Round (lost to Jamie Harvey 0–3)
  • 2002: 2nd Round (lost to Peter Manley 5–6)
  • 2003: 2nd Round (lost to Les Fitton 1–4)
  • 2004: 3rd Round (lost to Alan Warriner-Little 3–4)
  • 2005: 2nd Round (lost to John Verwey 2–3)
  • Nine-dart finishes

    Lowe accomplished the first ever televised nine-dart finish. This finish was not broadcast live.


    John Lowe Wikipedia

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