British Darts Organisation founder Olly Croft OBE dies aged 90

Jamie Shaw in BDO Darts News 23 Nov 2019
Olly Croft 1929-2019
Olly Croft OBE, founder of the British Darts Organisation, has passed away at the age of 90.
Croft was one of the most influential protagonists in darts for almost four decades having set up and run the British Darts Organisation from 1973-2011. 
He was instrumental in getting darts onto the big screen and into the homes of millions, particularly in 1974 when the World Masters was created and four years later when the first World Championship was televised on BBC.
Croft was at the centre of darts infamous ‘split’ in the early 1990s – when a number of top players became frustrated at lack of opportunities as ITV pulled their World of Sport programme.
The top players left the BDO and formed the World Darts Council (now the Professional Darts Corporation), but Croft and his organisation proceeded to ban the rebel players from playing County Darts, leading to a court case which was settled in 1997 with a Tomlin Order.
Croft remained at the helm until he was voted off the Board of Directors in 2011.
He was awarded an OBE for his services to sport in 2004, which he dedicated to his late wife Lorna.
Olly passed away at his home on Saturday November 23 after a battle with illness.
A number of players from past and present have taken to social media to pay their tributes: