Iconic Lakeside owner Bob Potter dies at the age of 94 as darts fans pay tribute

Darts fans have paid tribute to Lakeside owner Bob Potter, who passed away aged 94 years-old.

Potter was awarded the OBE in 1993 after playing a pivotal role in British and world darts. As the owner of the iconic Lakeside Country Club, he allowed his venue to play host to the Darts World Championships from 1986 to 2019.

Lakeside also served as the main sponsor of the competition from 2004 all the way to 2019 and once again in 2022. And the darts world all came together to say a fond farewell to Potter on social media.

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“Sad news to hear about the passing of Bob Potter OBE today. RIP the owner of The Home of World Darts. Thoughts are with his family and friends at this time,” one fan wrote on social media. “Sad news. A man of great importance to the darts story. Legend. The home of world darts,” another commented.

A third fan added, “if it wasn't for Bob there would be no Lakeside and no history,” before a fourth fan added a concise but poignant message which read, “Very sad news. Rest easy sir.”

What is your favourite contribution Bob Potter made? Let us know in the comments section below

Darts referee Huw Ware also released a message of his own that read, “Dad to hear the passing of Bob Potter. He was always very welcoming and very hard working. His venue is iconic and his sponsorship of the BDO World Championship was crucial. RIP.”

Potter bought what came to be known as Lakeside Country Club in 1972 when it was still called ‘Wharfenden House’. He then went on to double the hall within the area to 1000 seats, initially as a space to host comedians and musicians.

But it eventually became one of the most iconic venues for world darts and remained just that for over 30 years. “The World Darts Federation are deeply saddened to learn that Bob Potter OBE passed away earlier today at the age of 94,” a statement from the Darts governing body posted.

They also added, “We look forward to continuing his legacy at the venue over at least the next three years. At this sad time, the thoughts of the WDF family are with Bob's loved ones and we express our sincere condolences to his family and friends."

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