Well-recognised within the darts scene Jackie Goethals is better known as “The Lion” and is another iconic figure in the sporting world.
Not only does he compete ferociously on the amateur circuit, but he is also a fanatical spectator at Darting events across the globe.
When Jackie was first getting into darts, Leo Laurens was the top player in Belgium. Leo played in the World Championship darts tournament at the Lakeside, which was then better known as The Embassy World Darts.
The commentator, Tony Green, called Leo the “Lion of Belgium” on live TV at the time that Jackie was becoming involved in the darts scene.
At that time, Jackie was a lookalike of Leo, the nickname also stuck for him and it’s been that way for the last 30 years with fans all over the world referring to him as such.
After a work accident – Jackie fell from a fourth floor roof straight onto concrete – he was unable to practice any physical sports. Unable to compete in the sports he previously loved; running, basketball and karate, The Lion pursued a life of darts.
Darts means a lot to Jackie; it’s his life and has helped him mentally recover completely from his accident.
He has attended the World Championship every year, for the last 20 years, equipped with his famous and instantly recognisable hat.
In the English darts scene, he also a seminal figure and is known to be “a part of the furniture” at Lakeside. To this day, Jackie travels everywhere with his hat.