In four decades on the oche, Dennis Harbour says he’s never thrown his darts better.
His victory in the England National Men’s singles last weekend means the 53 year-old from Dogsthorpe has won four titles on the BDO circuit this season.
On his way to the title, Harbour scalped BDO world champion Scott Mitchell, Ted ‘The Count’ Hankey and Tony O’Shea and he teamed up with Steve Carrett to win the doubles event in Selsey, Sussex.
The results have lifted him up to number 33 in the world rankings and with more ranking events to come before the end of September, there’s a chance he can climb into the top 16 and qualify for the Lakeside world championship.
“This is my best-ever season,” said Harbour, who celebrates his 54th birthday on Sunday.
“I couldn’t have asked for any more and all the pros are saying that if I don’t get to the Lakeside this year, there’ s something wrong.
“They all think I will be there.
“I’m definitely playing well enough and it’s up to me now. The Lakeside is the pinnacle for any BDO darts player and I can’t wait to get back there.”
Harbour has twice played at the BDO world championship - in 2003 and 2006 - and made his television debut way back in 1985 in the Unipart British Professional championship.
He was beaten in the first round by Steve Brennan - and he went on to lose to Eric Bristow in the next round.
“I’ve been kicking around since the days of Bristow, John Lowe and Jocky Wilson,” said Harbour.
“I’ve been up there with them, have stuck at it and it seems the older I get, the more confident I get.
“Every year, I seem to be growing in confidence and there are a few others in their fifties who are playing well.”
In January, 58 year-old Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams reached the BDO world championship final and at 54, Martin Phillips won the World Masters last year.
Harbour, sponsored by John Beddow from Ebeneezers club in Peterborough, said: “The older players know what it takes. We don’t get nervous because we’ve been there and done it before.”
Harbour has been throwing darts since he was 13 years-old.
He said: “My dad used to come home from playing darts on a Monday night with his pockets bulging with change.
“He told me that after they played matches, they played ‘Shanghai’ for money - and he always used to win. I fancied that myself and loved it.
“I started playing the game more seriously in my twenties and I’ve never looked back.
“I’ve put a lot of time into darts over the years and now it all seems to be paying off.”
Harbour’s results at Selsey:
Last 256 - beat Rob Nolster 4-3
Last 128 - beat Kevin Wilson 4-1
Last 64 - beat Brandon Richardson 4-2
Last 32 - beat Scott Mitchell 4-2
Last 16 - beat Ted Hankey 4-0
Quarter-finals - beat Dean Reynolds 5-2
Semi-finals - beat Tony O’Shea 5-2
Final - beat Jim Williams 6-5
England Open Pairs
Last 256 - beat Harry Holman/Luke Bowden 3-0
Last 128 - beat Glen Couldwell/Eddie New 3-0
Last 64 - beat Mike Peel/Danny Brown 3-2
Last 32 - beat Scott Waites/Garry Thompson 3-1
Last 16 - beat Gary Mace/Bob Foster 3-1
Quarter-finals - beat Steven Mitchell/Derek Maclean 3-1
Semi-finals - beat Luke Woodland/Geoff Heath 3-1
Final - beat Ricky Williams/Arron Monk 3-2