Darts fan Dave vows to continue helping charity

Dave Mellish (70) and his son Dave Jnr. (49) '' ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (132244-6431)
Dave Mellish (70) and his son Dave Jnr. (49) '' ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (132244-6431)

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Dave Mellish spent years raising money for a blind charity with his wife Mary.

But his life was turned upside down in October last year after she died soon after an operation to replace a heart valve.

Now he’s determined to keep Mary’s memory alive by continuing his support of The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

He’s putting together a darts match between six teams who compete in Waterlooville & District Men’s Darts League.

The event on Wednesday, August 28 will be held from 7pm at The Aston Rooms, Waterlooville.

All money raised will go towards the worthy cause.

Entry is free but everyone will be urged to donate.

The couple first began raising money after a relative partially lost their sight.

Together they raised about £9,000 through selling prize draw tickets and giving donations.

Dave says: ‘My wife was avid about the blind.

‘When she went, I decided I wanted to keep her memory alive.

‘It would be fantastic to raise a lot of money from this event and I am sure Mary would be over the moon.

‘Even if it means taking buckets around to dart matches afterwards.’

Dave and Mary, who met when they were teenagers, were the first married couple to play darts for Hampshire’s side and Dave was appointed its first B-side captain in 1974.

Dave still plays and is a member of the team for The Centurion pub, in Crookhorn Lane, Crookhorn.

Dave says his wife was a wonderful person who would do anything for anybody.

‘She was the most generous person,’ he says.

‘She wouldn’t steal a farthing from you.

‘If you gave her some money, that money would be paid back.

‘She would help you out in whatever way she could.

‘She was so helpful.

‘Mary was extremely well known in the local darts community. Anyone would be able to tell you how wonderful she was.’

Dave hopes the event will become an annual occasion and wants it to be open to everyone of all abilities from next year.

‘This is just about getting it off the ground,’ he says.

‘Hopefully it will take off from here.’

He’s had help getting everything together from league committee members John Burbridge and Shane Daughtry.

He also says he’s extremely grateful for all of the committee’s support and thanked them for taking to the idea.