Darts legend Bobby George launches education project

Darts legend Bobby George with Russell Leeburn of Ipswich Orwell Rotary Club, at the launch of the c

Darts legend Bobby George with Russell Leeburn of Ipswich Orwell Rotary Club, at the launch of the clubs Dyslexia Resource Box project at UCS, Ipswich Waterfront on Wednesday October 30, 2013 Leeburn@uwclub.net - Credit: Contributed

Rotary project to help local children with dyslexia

Darts legend Bobby George, the man who put the `bling’ into the televised sport, was at Ipswich Waterfront on Wednesday to help launch an important educational project.

Bobby, now a BBC television pundit and presenter, talked about his struggles at school, at the launch of Ipswich Orwell Rotary Club’s Dyslexia Resource Box project.

The club, with the support of its twin Rotary Club in Germany, is fundraising to put together boxes of educational resources especially to help dyslexic children, which will be distributed in a pilot scheme around Suffolk.

The resources can be used by teachers in schools and resources centre to help pupils who suffer from dyslexia and are having difficulties learning.

Bobby George revealed his school days had been difficult.

He struggled with English, and was treated as stupid, though he would probably have been diagnosed as dyslexic today.

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“I had a stutter, and if you have a stutter, you can’t ask questions. The teachers were only interested in the bright kids.”

“I couldn’t spell. I still can’t spell very well though I can read and write. If I need to write something down and remember it, my wife writes it down phonetically for me,” he said.

“It is a very different culture now in schools.”

Bobby said he had many practical skills, and a good head for figures, and after a variety of jobs incluuding welding and in the building trades he had found a niche mining for projects like London Underground tunnels.

He now lives in his self-built home, set in 12 acres of grounds with its own fishing lakes and has a successful career in sport and television.He said: “I was good with figures.

“I have built my own home. I like making things and I had wanted to go to art school, but that was for posh kids.”

At the age of 30 he discovered he had a talent for darts, on a golfing trip to Ireland when it was too wet to play golf.

He was persuaded to enter the Super League when he returned to Essex, still with his borrowed darts, and within weeks was the county champion and on the way to national fame.

“I was at the top of the sport within six months.”

He was known as King of Darts, won the News of the World darts championship twice, and also reached the BDO World Championship final twice.

And he introduced extravagent dress, music on arrival and bling, jewellery and sequins.

“Before then dart players wore T-shirts with curry down the front of them,” he said.

Russell Leeburn of Ipswich Orwell Rotary Club said the hope was that the pilot scheme would be rolled out across Suffolk.

“If it goes well here, it is possible other Rotary Clubs across the country will do something similar in their areas.”

More information is available from Russell Leeburn. russell@uwclub.net