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Gibraltar Darts Celebrate 50th

For those that might not know me, my name is Justin Broton, I am the
presiding GDA President.

I would like to say a few words to commemorate this special year of over 50
years of darts on the Rock.

I will try to do this very briefly, I hope, and go over a summary of our
milestones, our achievements of our rich darting history.
So, what has happened in Gibraltar in 50 plus years!

We have had the introduction of all sorts of competitions for the development
of the sport, such as singles, pairs, trebles & mixed, friendship cup, GDA cup,
league, super league, teams of 4 etc etc those who are active members know
how busy we are.

Lots of UK Regional Organisations have come to Gibraltar to challenge & play
against us, including teams from the West of England, Leicestershire &

We have seen darts inside the Rock at St. Michaels Cave, which I am sure
some of you will have fond memories of.

Top Pro’s have attended Gibraltar for our annual presentation night & for
exhibitions, these include the likes of Phil Taylor, Cliff Lazarenko, Jockey
Wilson, Eric Bristow, Dennis Priestly & Mike Gregory and believe you me not
a lot of countries can attest to that.

We have even seen our 1st 9 darter at our recent Gibraltar Open, which 20
years ago no one would have ever thought that would have happened on our

Now, How has all this happened? Well, because of critical points in time.
For example:
In 1952 a true Gentleman by the name of Joe Goldwin started it all off by
creating competitions of which I have evidence as I have a trophy from a
singles competition dating back to 1953.

1n 1956/1958 we saw the amalgamation of the Civilian darts league with the
servicemen, military, MOD and their was an increase from 11 league teams to
around 24 teams.

In 1974 we became affiliated to the BDO – British Darts Organisation, the
same year they were established and attended the world singles
championships, the 1st ever world championships as we now know as the
Winmau World Masters and not a lot of countries can attest to that, we were
one of the 11 countries to take part.

In 1977 we became affiliated to the WDF – World Darts Federation, the same
year they were established and again attended the 1st ever World Cup.
In 1980 we attended the European Cup, possibly not the 1st but that must
have been due to financial reasons.

In 1998 through the hard efforts of certain committee members we officially
became a sport in Gibraltar, even before leading countries like the USA,
Netherlands and most recently the UK who I believe became a sport in 2004
and yet again not a lot of countries can attest to that. We were not the 1st as
countries such as New Zealand did a sneaky on us way back in 1978, but
nonetheless a great achievement thanks to the efforts of a few we have been
benefiting from the financial assistance that we now still get from the
Government of Gibraltar.

In 1999 we were involved in the inception of the Mediterranean Cup thanks
again to the efforts of previous committee members, in fact I believe we even
designed the logo.

In 2003/04 We had the introduction of our 1st major international event, the
Gibraltar Open.

In 2006/07 we added WDF Ranking points to the Gibraltar Open to attract
further international participation.

In that same year we get the Pro’s in Gibraltar for a competition from 80 to 89
and this year 112 Professionals were on our Rock including 13 World
Champions and yet again how many countries can attest to that.
In 2008 Gibraltar see its 1st Professional darts player by the name of Dylan
Duo who unfortunately could not be here today as he is attending a
competition abroad and we wish him and others such as Dyson Parody soon
to follow, here present, the best of luck for the future which I have no doubt
they will do great. So best of luck Dyson.

Now, has all this hard work paid off! The answer is yes!
In 2004 George Federico won our 1st international event in Malta. In 2006
Gibraltar gets a team silver, a pairs gold by Francis Taylor & George Federico
and the great George Federico also wins the Greek Open, I was present and
it was pleasure to see the master at work, he played exceptionally well. In
2007 we again won the pairs, myself & Dylan Duo at the BDO Torremolinos
Open and the singles won by Dylan Duo against compatriot Dyson Parody.
One of the only few words I will say in Spanish ”El no se puede” attitude which
has lingered Gibraltar for so long and I am positive that guys like Dylan &
Dyson will have a few words to say about that.

Just to end, how has all this been possible! Well because of 4 factors really.
Firstly, our sponsor Saccone & Speed on behalf of Kronenbourg 1664 whom
without their support a lot of things would not have been possible and we
thank them for that. We have a representative here Dyson Parody.

Secondly we have to thank the Government of Gibraltar who have not only
been supportive since 1998 when we became a sport as we have records to
show that they have been answering the needs of the GDA since the 1970’s.
Thirdly we must thank the continued strength of the players themselves for
never giving up.

Lastly and most importantly I believe we must thank our x presidents & x
committees. Whom without their input, their courage in the interests of the
development of the sport of darts in Gibraltar, none of this would have been

For that reason I ask you to put your hands together and give them a well
deserved cheer.
Thank you.

I would like to personally apologise and correct the following, which
were over looked in the speech.

I would like to mention that George Ramos, Justin Broton, Francis
Taylor, George Federico were the members part of the team that
achieved the Overall Team Silver at the Mediterranean Cup (Greece)

I would also like to correct that the 1st Med Cup was in Greece in the
year 2000 and not as stated in Bulgaria 1999.
I also wish to extend apologies for lost invites especially GBC and the
Gibraltar Chronicle who continually have given full support to the GDA
and for which I am very disappointed that we overlooked them. The
menus were sent to the media but no official invites.

Also note that my speech was followed by a few words from the Sports
Minister Hon. Edwin Reyes & lastly by 1st president, Dave Obee.

Pictured: "50 years On..." Dave Obee, Gibraltars 1st Darts President having a few throws to reminiss on the good old days.

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