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Tungsten Tim: A Darts Enthusiast, Loyal Friend And A Brilliant Dog!

The nickname ‘Tungsten Tim’ will be familiar to those darts players that played with and against Tim Giles in both the South Devon Darts League and the Monday Premier League between 2017 and 2022.



However, the name itself also has a familiar ring to the followers of another sport, greyhound racing, with the term transcending genres thanks to Peter Sandbach.


Giles and Sandbach’s friendship started after the latter took over one of the oldest and much-loved pubs in Plymouth, the Union Inn, with his wife Christine at the turn of the last decade where Giles became a cherished regular.


The pub itself is an award-winning outfit for real ale and cider connoisseurs having placed in Plymouth Cider and Perry Pub of the Year competition numerous times; winning the prestigious title in 2016.



The venue is believed to date back to the nineteenth century but there is a beam in the lounge bar, where the darting action takes place, inscribed with ‘circa 1705’ so it may have been serving beer and food for much longer than understood.


From 2017 when a fun darts team was formed in the South Devon Darts League until Giles’ passing in February 2022, Giles could be found at the famous, old pub on a Monday and Friday turning out for the Union Inn’s darts teams.


The South Devon Darts League team were a friendly bunch of locals who found themselves either losing or winning 6-5 almost every week.



However, the team did manage a run to the cup semi finals during their first season, despite sitting mid table in the bottom division.


The jovial name, ‘Tungsten Tim’ was born out of both Giles infectious love of the game, and the fact he used to change his darts almost every single week in the hope of improving that little bit more.


The constant tinkering did pay off one season as in 2019 when Giles won the South Devon Darts League’s Over 50s Doubles tournament.



A fitting and worthy winner of a title in a league in which Giles was thought of incredibly highly both as a competitor and as a friend to everyone that knew him both on and off the oche.


Giles was so well thought about in fact that current Union Inn darts teams now have emblazoned upon the right-hand sleeve of their darts shirts; a lasting tribute to a wonderful man.


Unfortunately though, Giles would throw his last dart for the Plympton venue in early 2022 having passed away due to complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in February of this year.



Upon Giles’ passing, Sandbach did something that’s considered incredibly unlucky in racing ownership circles by renaming one of his greyhounds, Holly Hill Vinnie, in honour of his friend, Tungsten Tim.


Sandbach, an avid greyhound enthusiast and owner of multiple dogs since 1966, went against usual naming conventions with many of his recent acquisitions taking a name linked with his home such as Union All Star and Union Secret.


The four-legged Tungsten Tim’s performances to date have completely gone against all logic of the naming myth as on the 17th February, just over two weeks after the darting Tungsten Tim’s passing, the greyhound turned out at Romford to place second in his first outing with his new name.



And just six days later, the two-year-old picked up his first win in a T3 race at the same course; one of nine successes from twenty-eight outings so far to date, which is a remarkable strike rate in the field.


By placing in at least the top three in more than three quarters of the races ran since the name change, Tungsten Tim has risen to S1 class which is the highest grading in the stayers category for long distance runners.


Whilst the original ‘Tungsten Tim’ is sadly no longer with us, the tributes put in place by his friends at the Union Inn will never let his legacy pass.

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