Renaissance for the sport at Pot Black, Bury St Edmunds

Colin Freeman has got charity fundraising in his home county of Suffolk down to a fine dart!

Since Colin and his partner Gemma first took on the ME Association as their cause three years ago, they’ve revolutionised the way darts is played for charity in their home town of Bury St Edmunds – progressing this year to a magnificent new darts room at the Pot Black Sports Bar at Autocue Park off Eastgate Street.

I was there yesterday enjoying the buzz as a room full of players from all over the county played the third in their monthly series of tournaments for the MEA which racked up another £315 for ME research.  This brings the total raised so far this year to £1,000, which is bang on their target to reach £4,000 for us by the end of the year.

The next in their monthly series of MEA darts tournaments will be held at Pot Black on Saturday, 6th April. The couple expect to have 40 players chasing the prize money.

They support the MEA because Colin’s daughter Stephanie is quite severely affected by the illness.

Three years ago, I started talking to minibus driver Colin as the couple planned a darts tour of pubs round England when Colin went on to score over a million and one points.  I first met them a year later at The Greyhound pub in Eastgate at the beginning of that epic, roller coaster of an adventure. Then there was another trip out last year to the Westbury Social Club, at the edge of town.

And now I was back in town at their cosy new darts room – on which sports bar owner Andy Goodridge is said to have lavished over £5,000, with five new boards in the room, electronic scoring, a subtle new decor and comfortable seating. Until this year, the room was home to just one snooker table.

Darts round Britain is enjoying something of a renaissance.

“It’s all down to the Luke Littler effect”, said 69-year-old Colin of the 17-year-old darts maestro from the North West who has been lighting up the crowds since becoming the youngest ever person to play in a World Darts Championship just one year ago.

“I expect we’ll be playing here to 6 or 7pm tonight and then they’ll be wanting to turf us out as there will be a big crowd waiting for us to clear the room so that they too can play their favourite sport. And, for a Sunday night in Bury St Edmunds, that’ll be amazing!”

If you’d like to take part in one of these monthly darts matches for charity, just ask at reception at the Sports Bar.

Tony Britton
Senior Fundraising Consultant, The ME Association Mob: 07393 805566

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