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Tribute to Barry Twomlow

Tribute to Barry Twomlow

Tribute To Barry Twomlow

    The passing of Barry Twomlow is a great loss to the world of darts. We at Unicorn Darts are proud to be able to publish these individual tributes from his many friends around the world, which reflect the absolute respect in which he was held by everyone who was privileged to know him .

    To Barry Twomlow Esquire, Gentleman
    Sportcraft Dinner, Saturday 13th February 1999

    I am so pleased to be with you on this your special evening to add my own tribute to the many you have received and to join with all those guests assembled to thank Mike Nally and everyone at Sportcraft for so generously and thoughtfully hosting this event.

    It was in February 1970 that you first attended the NSGA Show in Chicago, the forerunner of today's Super Show. I had offered you a 10-day or so expenses paid holiday in the USA (I probably forgot to mention the weather in Chicago at this time of year). Little did any of us expect that holiday­ to last for almost 30 years.

    It took me no time on that trip to realise what a good companion you were, that you were conscientious, courteous at all times, honest, trustworthy, hard working, charming, disarming, discerning, quietly commanding attention and respect, a teacher, a philosopher, a negotiator and, apart from the ability to consume prodigious quantities of beer and similar beverages, you also threw a mean dart , all without seemingly the necessity to sleep. Sportcraft and their customers embraced you at once.

    It was at breakfast in The Empire Room at the Palmer House on the morning after the show that we talked of the possibility of you joining Unicorn. You could earn your corn, I thought, as a salesman and when we needed a dart or two thrown you could do that too. It is a breakfast that I shall never forget, for it set seal on an association and friendship that I will always cherish.

    I am sure that many stories will be told tonight by you and others, but it will, I know, be said over and over again, as it has been these last very many years, what an Ambassador you have been for the sport of darts, for sportsmanship, for Sportcraft and for Unicorn. You truly were in large measure responsible for teaching so much of the World to play darts and for gently bringing many Sportcraft customers to the realisation that darts equipment would make a fine addition to their merchandise programme. You never put anyone down by crushing them with your magical skill, yet on the other hand you never let them go until they absorbed a little of your passion for the game.

    The time has come, much too quickly, for us all to let you go, at least a little, for you cannot escape from our affection. Margaret, who has supported you uncomplainingly the while you travelled to every continent on gruelling schedules, needs and deserves your attention and presence and you need time to sort out the souvenirs, letters, gifts and memories of a unique career.

    You have our sincerest thanks and our every best wish for a long, happy and healthy retirement. Ann and I raise a glass to you, and drink to your health as we chat through the happy memories that we are privileged to share because we are fortunate to know Barry Twomlow.

    Delivered by Stanley Lowy, Chairman of Unicorn at a surprise retirement dinner thrown in Barry's honour in Atlanta in 1999

    Well, when I first met Barry I was in short trousers and he was definitely Mr Twomlow. A giant of a man in every sense that's when I started looking up to him, and I never stopped looking up. I watched him so many times at trade shows and exhibitions winning people over effortlessly, entertaining them, educating them. Exuding charm, humour and of course great skill on the oche, you just couldn't say "No!" to Barry. If making friends was a sport, Barry was an Olympian.

    He is sorely missed, how fortunate we are to have known him. Our thoughts are with Margaret and the family.

    Edward Lowy

    Gentleman, Ambassador, Friend.

    It was a privilege to know, admire and work with this great man.

    Kind regards

    Richard Lowy

    I never met a man more worthy of the adjective 'class' than Barry Twomlow. Like one of the many thousands of aspiring darts players around the world that Barry influenced, I was immediately impressed with his dignity and poise when I was fortunate enough to first meet him. As a frequent traveller myself, I am completely in awe of his record of travel. He spent decades circling the globe to promote Unicorn and to further the sport into the far corners of the globe. His true contribution to the growth of darts may never be fully recognized. It was an honour to share a board with Barry Twomlow.

    John Part

    I first met Barry in 1974 when I was asked by Unicorn to help develop and stage their Unicorn World Pairs Tournament. Although not a darts fan to start with, I soon became one as a result of Barry's infectious enthusiasm for the sport. The world of darts is poorer for his passing but much richer as a result of his life and his massive contribution to the growth of the sport worldwide. I shall miss his wise advice, normally offered over a pint or three, his kindness and his friendship. My favourite Barry story? A TV film crew came over from China about 10 years ago to do stories on British sport. They put Barry in front of a camera and said 'talk about darts' - and of course they ran out of film. A month or so later a video came over from China with Barry sitting there, talking about darts, over-dubbed in Chinese. It was very funny. But when the first Chinese Open happens, which it surely will one day, the sport will yet again be grateful to Barry, as it has been so often in the past.

    Peter Johnson, Marketing Consultant : Unicorn Darts.

    Barry Twomlow: the man who taught the world to play.
    Saturday, May 29th 2004 was one of the saddest days of my life and yet it was one of the proudest, my good friend Barry Twomlow passed away, he was travelling with his wife Margaret to see friends in Scarborough when he took ill and died en-route. Joe Mooney another close friend of Barry’s rang to tell me the sad news. I was truly saddened and for a few hours my mind was muddled and confused thinking of all the many hours we had spent together over the last 40 years, all the great times we had enjoyed, all brought about by one common denominator, the sport of darts.

    My sadness turned into pride as I remembered the Barry Twomlow I had grown to like, listen to and more than anything respect.

    The friends who knew Barry, and there are many thousands of them, will all have their own way of remembering him. There is one thing they will all remember, his famous one line saying at the end of any meeting: “just one more for the road”. Boy have I shared just one more for the road with the big guy. I remember well one evening in the Bridge Inn on Hollis Lane in Chesterfield. I was having just a couple of drinks with Barry, we were talking as usual about some trip we had shared abroad for Unicorn, a couple turned into three, maybe four. Anyway it was well past midnight, it was a warm night and the door of the Bridge Inn was open. About 12.45am two policemen walked into the bar, they looked at Barry and myself both with full pints and said hello. We returned their welcome and carried on talking and drinking oblivious to the time. They asked the landlord to step outside, after a few minutes he returned with a big smile on his face.

    “What’s wrong?” asked Barry. It appeared they had come to ask about the man who lived next door; his car had been stolen. “Oh nothing to bother about”, said Peter, “well, the inspector did mention it was 12.45am and that Barry Twomlow and John Lowe were still drinking at the bar almost two hours after closing time. “It’s ok” said the landlord, “they did not mind you having a drink, they just thought you should have made an attempt to hide it or put it down”. Barry looked at me and I knew what was coming, “John Lowe, you have kept me out late again, we will just have one more for the road”.

    I could tell stories about Barry for hours on end, but would prefer to tell you my thoughts about the Barry Twomlow I knew. Barry came to a crossroads in his life when he won the News of the World Championship in 1969. He had a choice to make, join Unicorn Darts in full-time occupation or join up with his brother in law, Billy Newton, in the office furniture business. Barry chose Unicorn. For the next 30 years he tirelessly preached the Unicorn gospel worldwide, it did not matter whether he was on official Unicorn business or not, the conversation would always contain the word “Unicorn”.

    Barry was proud to be associated with Unicorn and genuinely believed and meant every single word he used to promote their fine products. Barry was just as dedicated to promoting darts to the masses, from the townships in South Africa to Poolsbrook in Derbyshire, he was a never-ending supporter of Derbyshire darts. At the end of his competitive playing years he became their President, he believed in promoting darts at all levels. His lifetime in the sport covered many organising bodies, the NDAGB, the BDO, the WDF and the PDC. Barry would sit for hours and discuss each organisation on merit, never once did he put one in front of the other, to Barry each was contributing to the promotion and expansion of the sport of darts. Needless to say, we did not always agree, but then again that’s what friendship is for, to be able to disagree and still remain the best of friends.

    Barry Twomlow was the man who discovered John Lowe. We played in local leagues and would meet up occasionally in knock-out cups and the like. He kept a watchful eye on my progress and eventually asked me if I would like to be a member of team Unicorn. He became my mentor as well as my friend. The people who knew Barry know he was capable of playing and beating anyone on the planet, his darting skills were quite brilliant. He was always willing to come out and practice with me before a big competition, he would always say he was trying to improve his game, I knew different, he was trying to inject confidence into me, he liked nothing better than when I won, especially on television.

    I could fill this website talking about the life and times of Barry Twomlow. I have received hundreds of messages from around the world all asking me to relay their respect for Barry. I think it is fitting that one such message says everything for everyone that knew and loved this great man:

    B J Clark, an American who now lives in Thailand with his family, wrote: ‘”Barry will be missed by everyone in darts, but most of all those who considered him to be their friend”.

    On behalf of the many thousands of friends of Barry, I offer a thank you for your friendship, hospitality, honesty and passion for the sport of darts, I ask everyone to raise your glass and have “just one more for the road”.

    Good bye great friend.

    John Lowe.

    I have delayed posting my tribute until today Wednesday 9th June, the day Barry is being laid to rest. I am unable to attend but my thoughts will most definitely be in Staveley on this sad day.

    There is little left to say having read the tributes already displayed on these pages. What shines through from everyone who has penned their thoughts here, is the unanimity of good feeling that this marvellous individual generated in everyone he met.

    The tributes all say much the same and that says a great deal about Barry's consistent and genuine outlook on life and his relationships with everyone he met, the great, the good and the plain ordinary.

    Anyone ever see him in a bad mood? Of course not.

    My deepest sympathy to Margaret and all of his family but hopefully they can take comfort from the fact that so many people share their grief.

    Tommy Cox

    This was a true giant among men of darts. A man who never said, or did anything to disrepute the game he so loved. I feel privileged to have known, and worked alongside such a man. I will miss him, every player who met him will miss him, the world of darts will miss Barry Twomlow. I am confident that as we mourn his passing, the Big Man is already telling his new pupils that Unicorn darts are guaranteed to go exactly where they are thrown! Rest in peace, God Bless you.

    Bob Anderson

Tribute to Barry Twomlow