WDF World Cup Men Singles 1977

Eighteen countries participated in the first WDF World Cup Darts held in London from 2 to 4 December at the Wembley Conference Centre, often with the Olympic spirit to win the WDF WORLD CUP DARTS. The organization was in the hands of the British Darts Organisation (BDO) under the supervision of the World Darts Federation (WDF), formed in 1976 and consisting of 15 countries.

The host country was regarded as a favourite with reigning Winmau World Master John Lowe in their team. Each team consisted of four players. Wales was seen as the main opponent since they had Alan Evans, the 1975 World Master in their team. Also Leighton Rees, losing finalist of the News of the World tournament in 1976 played for Wales. Scotland with Rab Smith and the USA with Nicky Virachkul were considered outsiders. The youngest player was, only 16 years old, Belgian Arnold Vandepoele. The oldest, Joe Goldwin 52 years, came from Gibraltar.

The first WDF World Cup was played over three events; teams of three players (it was only played in teams of four from 1979 onwards), pairs and singles. Points and medals were awarded for each event. The total of the points determines who will eventually go home with the WDF World Cup.

With England and Wales each winning one event the decision on would win the WDF World Cup had to come in the singles. Countries quickly lost one player at the expense of the Australians, Barrie Delbridge defeated Tony Brown and Barry Atkinson defeated Phil Obbard. The Welshmen Alan Evans and Leighton Rees managed to qualify for the semi-finals. Alan Reid for Scotland and England’s Cliff Lazarenko also reached the last four. In those semi-finals the two Welshmen were up against each other. Rees beat his teammate 4-0. In the other semi-final Lazarenko managed to beat Alan Reid. Encouraged by numerous Scottish supporters Reid hit a maximum at his first throw and also won the first leg. He also hit a 180 in the second leg, but was brushed aside 4-2 by a strong display from Cliff Lazarenko.

With the score 74 points to Wales and 63 to England the final was to decide the outcome of the first WDF World Cup. Leighton won the first leg, which he started himself. Lazarenko quickly equalized. Rees took the third leg with a 115 (19, 60, D18) finish. In the fourth leg Lazarenko threw a 180 and he took that leg again. The match continued to be very evenly matched. Rees hit a 116 (60, 48, D8) finish and Cliff took the next leg that he himself started. It looked like Lazarenko would win the deciding leg after strong scores of 100, 100, 125 and 136 left him on tops. Leighton Rees missed the 121-finish that was left for him, but Lazarenko missed three darts at double 20. Rees didn’t let this second chance be unused and hit tops with his second dart. 

Venue: England Wembley Conference Centre, London From: Friday 02 December 1977 Till: Sunday 04 December 1977


Leighton Rees
Photographer: MasterCaller.com
WDF World Cup Men Singles Darts - 1977