In this column we regularly remember the “forgotten father” of the past. Today it is the turn of Englishman Mike Gregory. He lost the legendary World Cup Final to Phil Taylor in 1992 after missing no fewer than six arrows in the competition.
Mike Gregory made his debut in 1983, when he lost the Winmao World Masters Final to Eric Bristow. A year later he managed to qualify for the BDO World Cup for the first time, losing 5-0 to Jockey Wilson at the Lakeside Country Club in the quarter-finals.
The first specialties
Gregory was one of the best players in the world during that period, and in 1984 he won three major championships with British Matchplay, Butlins Grand Masters and British Professional. In the years that followed, he added MFI World Matchplay and twice World News.
Internationally as well, “The Quiet Man of Darts,” as its nickname, was a huge success in championship victories in Finland, Belgium, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland. But in the World Cup, for years it couldn’t have been better than the quarter-finals on their debut. Until 1990, Gregory reached the quarter-finals again, this time on the Jockey Wilson scale. But in the semi-finals, Erik Bristow was very strong with a score of 5-2.
Dramatic World Cup Final
In 1992 Gregory started as the number two seed in the World Cup. After victories against Wayne Winning, Chris Jones, Rod Harrington and Kevin Kenny, he finally reached the World Cup Final, where he faced top seed Phil Taylor. That final match will be one of the best, most exciting and most dramatic in BDO history. Gregory wasted no fewer than six arrows to win (two on 20 doubles, 10 doubles, and 8 doubles each) and eventually saw Taylor clinch the world title in the final stage of the deciding set. Later that year, he would also lose his second World Cup finals at the Winmao World Masters, this time Denise Priestley was extremely strong.
In the cradle of PDC
In 1992 Gregory, along with several other big players, founded the World Darts Council, which would later become the PDC. In that new league, he won the Lada UK Masters in both 1992 and 1993, beating Denise Priestley and Bob Anderson, respectively, in the final. However, in November 1993, due to the displeasure of Taylor, Anderson, and Priestley, among others, Gregory changed his mind and returned to BDO.
In 1995 he won his last major title with the Unipart European Masters, a tournament which was broadcast on BBC at the time. In the following years he quickly disappeared from the lead and in 1999 he sang for the fourteenth and final time at the BDO World Cup. But in the opening round, he had to lose to Martin Adams.
The 64-year-old English player now only plays in the UK county system, playing in Superleague for Radstock.