Harbour back on the Lakeside stage then he’s taking a rest

Dennis Harbour celebrates on the Lakeside stage in January.
Dennis Harbour celebrates on the Lakeside stage in January.
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Dennis Harbour is heading back to the Lakeside for the BDO World Championships.

BDO bosses have confirmed the 55 year-old from Dogsthorpe has qualified for the championship that gets underway in Frimley Green next January in front of the Channel Four cameras.

Harbour is currently ranked 25th in the world, meaning he would enter at the preliminary round stage.

But he expects to enter in the first round.

“The main thing is, I’m definitely there and I’m really pleased,” said Harbour.

“But I got seven points from the British Open the other week that haven’t been added yet and that should make a massive difference. When they go on, I should go up the rankings to 22nd or 23rd and be in the first round proper. That means I’m guaranteed £3,700 rather than £2,000.”

Harbour reached the quarter-finals on his return to the Lakeside in January with upset wins over seeds Darryl Fitton and Martin Phillips after a decade away from the sport’s biggest stage.

But since then, he’s found it hard.

Harbour won four major tournaments in 2015, but during the last 12 months, his best performance was a run to the final of the English National Singles.

“I’ve had a tough season,” admitted the grandfather of two.

“There are a lot of young, hungry lads who are coming through and have kept me on my toes and really pushed me.

“But I’ve coped, enjoyed it and managed to squeeze into the world championship.

“I’m pleased for myself – and my family and friends.”

Harbour says he should be well supported at the world championships.

He said: “My son says his workmates keep asking him: ‘Has your dad qualified ?’ and now I have I think they are all looking forward to coming along to the Lakeside.

“There should be a coach load or two coming along to support me.”

Harbour has revealed that, on his family’s advice, he will take a break from playing on the BDO circuit after the world championship.

He said: “I’m not packing in darts, no way. The game is in my blood. I will still play County matches and Super League, but I’m going to have to take a break from the circuit next season. I need a rest.

“When you go to tournaments, you find yourself eating when you can, and it’s usually junk food, and drinking too much as well.

“I’ve put on too much weight and my daughter says I’ve got to look after myself. I’m only 5ft 10ins and I’m weighing 20 stones. It doesn’t suit me. I keep having to buy bigger and bigger shirts and I feel uncomfortable.

“I’ve had two fantastic seasons on the circuit. I’ve won four majors and I’m an established England player. I’ve exceeded all my expectations.

“I only ever wanted to play for England once and I’ve played a dozen times. I’m more than happy with that.

“I will make the most of the Lakeside, do my best and then have a break. I need it.”

Harbour also revealed that because of work commitments, he’s unlikely to enter the qualifiers for the World Masters.

He said: “I’ve had a lot of time off work for tournaments and I don’t think I’m going to get any more. I’m going to have to give the Masters a miss.”