Tributes to Caister’s ‘Peter the Great’

A RENOWNED darts enthusiast from Caister, who beat some of the best players in the world, died on Sunday.

In his time, Peter Rowe successfully challenged professionals including world champion John Lowe and Jocky Wilson.

Still playing at one of his favourite haunts, The Lady Haven, in his final months, he won countless local titles over a period of more than 40 years.

Mr Rowe, who survived his wife Mary, died aged 78 at the James Paget University Hospital after fighting pancreatic cancer. He had one daughter and three grandchildren.

His son-in-law Graham Eagle, 52, recalls the man who, aside from his passion for darts, was not afraid of a debate.

“He also loved animals and was really compassionate with them if he saw one in distress” he added.

Mr Eagle also recalled his quick way with figures and how handy he was around the house.

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“He was taking down the summer house and doing general DIY at his home just two months ago, and his garage had all kinds of tools in it.”

Born near Wisbech, Mr Rowe is believed to have moved to the area in the 1960s and helped in the building of Woolworths in Great Yarmouth before becoming a full-time handyman.

He was a keen cricketer, as well as a footballing goalkeeper, and had a love of jazz music.

However, it was for his ability to hit the doubles, trebles and bullseyes when required that gained him most attention.

Barry Stewart, close friend and secretary of the summer darts league, said: “Peter was an icon and an inspiration to many young darts players in the Yarmouth area throughout his playing years.

“He was a very dominant figure at the pinnacle of his playing days in the 60s, 70s and early 80s, winning numerous local titles, including 10 Whitbread Singles titles and countless pairs titles with several partners.”

Among his achievements, Mr Rowe formed The Great Yarmouth Super League Team in 1973, and Mr Stewart recalled how several times he came close to making it to Wembley as part of the News of the World Cup. “He just could not get the luck on the final leg” he said, before adding that “the darts world will miss Peter the Great”.