Leighton Rees
Originally posted by Andy in the old forum:

Leighton was born in Ynysybwl , Wales where he lived most of his life , Leighton like many others came up through the pub leagues , He was spotted in 1972 by researchers for the then tv programme INDOOR LEAGUE , producer at that time was Sid Waddell , He offered Leighton and 2 other welsh players there first taste of tv darts. In 1976 Leighton turned professional and went on to make the final of the News Of The World Darts Championship that year.

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In 1978 at the first Embassy World Darts Championship Leighton would win a very hard fought tournament , During this event Leighton scored the first ever televised 10 dart finish . His prize money for the win was £3000.
In 1979 Leighton again made it to the final only to be beaten by John Lowe , His progress in the event slowly regressed but he still remained a popular player with the public .

After suffering a period of poor health Leighton sadly passed away in 2003 aged only 63.
Leighton may not have had the success of Bristow or Lowe but the people loved him and i think his fellow players had a lot of respect for him . I have heard his name mentioned by Bobby George only the other day , He called him simply ,, A great player and a gentleman .
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Replies to the above from the old forum:

mc1958

Andy wrote:
A great player and a gentleman .


Wholeheartedly concur with this - I said in another thread Leighton was my favourite player of all time - great player and real nice bloke as well when I met him in Norwich back in the early 80's

Getagrip

Did you get any pics Mike?

mc1958

Unfortunately no. I met and played several of the pro's around the late 70's/early 80's but didn't even think about getting any photo's. Wish I had now - it may have helped me remember which ones I'd beaten lol.

I do remember though that I didn't actually play Mr Rees that day - so I definitely didn't beat him!!!

Getagrip

Damm thats a shame, would have liked to see pics. Was he using those strange shaped flights at the time?

mc1958

God knows - it was 30 years ago and I can only just about remember what i had for breakfast this morning lol

Bo

getagrip wrote:
Damm thats a shame, would have liked to see pics. Was he using those strange shaped flights at the time?


Those flight were terrific, if I recall correctly were the first flights with a photo of the player on them, they were predominately blue with black and white and resealable, a very large oval almost completely circular and made by Kwiz.
The first time I met "Leighton two months after he won the Embassy" he was playing all comers in Tiverton Devon (Tiverton Motel I think).
He had a terrific way with him such a wonderful gentleman.
I always recal a party piece he did when playing a lady,
A game of 301 straight in for the lady whilst Leighton,
(stipulated befor the game)
is enforced to double off on the bull, could only score on Bulls, 25s and D13.
Never saw him lose to any lady.
It's very clever, Just think about it!
I thought he was terrific and what an action, Hence his nickname of The Cobra.
In the John Lowe info I don't remember him being called the Ton Machine , but I do know Allen Glazier being Nicknamed the Ton Machine as well as being dubbed The Man in Black!
Same as Eric B everyone knows him as the Crafty Cockney whereas I recall the nickname given to him earlier by Dave lanning of the Praying Mantis
Bo
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Back in the early 70's, i was at an exhibition with Leighton and Evans in Edinburgh. It was just before Leighton really got famous, he was trouncing Evans on stage and all us spectators were booing cause we thought Evans was throwing the games ! Evans actually turned to the audience and tried to tell us that Leighton was 'that' good, but we still thought he was at it ! Good times....J.D.
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(08-26-2014, 04:37 PM)jimdandy Wrote: Only available to view for active members with 5 or more posts click register to join Smile
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Ahh! Nice one Jim, I think they were good friends too. Nice to hear some history Smile
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He was a Gentleman and a Great Dart player. I had the privilege to meet him and his wife back around 1984 or 85 they where on Holiday in Texas we had traveled to San Antonio for the San Antonio open dart tournament. One of the women on our dart team from Fort Worth Texas was from Wales so when see noticed Leighton and his wife were there she made a bee line straight to them as they where talking about home me and my Brother worked or way into the Conversation and got to talk to the great Leighton Rees very nice very easy going. I still have fond memories of that encounter all these years later me and my Brother still talk about it to this day.

Bret
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Thats great Bret, nice to have such memories, would have liked to meet him too Smile
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I originally posted this in the thread for CERI MORGAN- but it belongs here as well

A little story from the late, great Sid Waddell talking about the Welsh home international team in the 1980s.

"Later that night there was an amazing scene in the bar of our hotel. Two thirds of the Welsh team were so hammered that they were talking in tongues. CERI MORGAN, a bearded, wild eyed lad from Treorchy who had the throwing style of a stick insect and put "Pub crawling" as his hobby on his official biography- was conversing with ROCKY JONES in what I can only assume was Welsh. ROCKY JONES was a coal miner- and very fond of a pint. They were propping each other up. Suddenly LEIGHTON REES, the Welsh Captain waltzed in with a lady darter wearing a maroon crimplene trouser suit. Seeing his team paralytic LEIGHTON REES turned martinet. He waved his cigar at the lads and boomed "You are representing Wales tomorrow! No more drink! Early night!"

He pointed to the door and the boys scuttled off. He turned to our BBC party and patted his lady friend on the rump.

"This is MY early night!.

Great story about Ceri Morgan and the legend that was Leighton Rees.
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I always wondered why his form dipped so much after 1980 (aged only 40) ??
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I heard the oche distance shortened from 8 feet to 7'9 and a smidge as standard and his perfect throw was wrong footed by the change - I think it may have been in the commentary over the 1979 BDO world title when he lost to John Lowe.
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He was the of dart players Gentleman, I had the Honor and Privilege , of playing with him a few times
he gave me my first set of Tungsten Darts which he won in a green shied stamps sponsored chomp in the late 70s early 80s .
they were a set of 23g green shied stamps own brand darts which I used until a couple of years ago (he kept the prize money though)
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