The Darts Referee Turned Streamer

Jack Langston is a self-professed darts enthusiast who was a marker on the PDC Tour for six years and now boasts a social following of more than 100,000.

A tree surgeon by day, Jack is more widely known by his online moniker ‘The Darts Referee’, under which he creates and publishes videos on his YouTube channel. Since opening his channel in 2019, Jack has amassed nearly 70,000 subscribers on YouTube alone and has built a loyal following of passionate darts fans.

Jack stopped marking for the PDC in 2018 and invested in a PC, though creating a dedicated darts channel wasn’t exactly high up on his list of priorities at the time.

“I bought a PC to play Fortnite,” he admitted to Fen Regis Trophies. “That was the only reason I bought the computer.

“I was addicted to Fortnight, at the time, and I thought to myself that I needed to do something else with this computer.

“I had a YouTube channel years ago, where I did some gaming stuff…so I thought that I would start another YouTube channel.

“I had no idea where it was going to do, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to do darts – I was in two minds to try gaming again.

“I decided on darts, which was probably the least likely of the two, and I’m at 66,000 subscribers now!”

Jack’s Love for Darts

Jack has his grandfather to thank for his love of tungsten slinging, with fond memories of watching and playing darts as a child when visiting.

“My grandad was really into his darts,” he recalled. “He used to play a lot, he had a dartboard in his garage.

“I just watched him throw, and he would pick me up, show me the dartboard and let me stab the darts into the dartboard. It was all my grandad.

“Then I got a bit older, to the point I could throw, and I just took from there at around seven or eight years old.”

It wouldn’t be too long after that that Jack would start playing for a team. Aged 11, his parents would take him to the centre where they played and, one day, the young Jack was allowed to play.

“I met a few people who played darts,” the YouTuber said. “They were short one week and they needed a player.

“I was 11 years old and playing my first ever game. I remember the game quite well. I lost 3-1, but I got a leg which I was super happy about – my mum couldn’t believe it!”

Outside of his immediate family, Jack points to Dennis Priestley and Adrian Lewis, both two-time world champions, for his love of the game.

“My first ever memory of darts was watching Dennis Priestley on the TV,” said Jack. “Dennis will always be one of my favourites. I used to love Dennis Priestley when I was younger.

“The first player who piqued my interest a lot was Adrian Lewis. I was probably about 13 years old, and I think he is about four or five years older than me.

“He was the only player on the TV I could watch who was of a similar age to me, whereas everyone else was a lot older, so I sort of fell in love with Adrian Lewis early on…he’s still my favourite player of all time.”

Marking on the PDC Tour

The PDC Tour consists not only of all the atmospheric tournaments broadcast on television but also of floor events played out in far more humble settings behind closed doors. These events are where Jack appeared on tour for six years, marking matches with some of the best players on the planet.

Not just anyone can turn up to mark in the PDC, however. Like the players, to earn your place on the tour you have to be of a high standard – luckily, Jack had garnered plenty of experience chalking games.

“With a guy called Colin Green, who is my darts grandad,” Jack recalled. “I started playing darts with him at about 13 years old.

“We used to play every Sunday and we used to play with a couple of other blokes. It was winner stayed on, and if you wanted to play, you had to chalk a game.

“They were good, good darts players in the area, so I was losing very frequently, which meant I was chalking a lot to play again.

“If we played for three or four hours, I’d maybe win two or three games, so I was spending a lot of that time marking the games and I learnt it quickly.”

The opportunity to try out for the PDC as a marker came through a chance meeting at a darts exhibition featuring Steve Beaton, the 1996 BDO world champion.

“I had never seen a professional darts player, so I was excited to go to the Steve Beaton exhibition, and I knew the guy who was running it from league darts.

“I said I wanted to come and asked if he needed someone to mark the games, and he said ‘yes, by all means, crack on, otherwise I’d have had to do it’.

“I spoke to a guy called Scott, who came along with Steve, and I asked if he knew how I could get into refereeing in the PDC. He was one of the few people already marking on the PDC floor events, and he put me in contact with a guy called Dave Ahmet, who’s a really nice guy.”

Aged 18, Jack began marking for the PDC, getting up close and personal with the likes of his heroes Priestley and Lewis. For six years, he would live out every passionate darts fan’s dream of watching world-class arrows.

The Darts Referee Channel

From being a darts referee to becoming The Darts Referee, Jack is now a prominent online personality in the world of darts. His YouTube channel has close to 70,000 subscribers and Jack, who has previously attempted to earn a PDC tour card via Q School, now has his sights set on making it a full-time career.

“I don’t think I expected to get more than maybe five or 10,000 subscribers. We’ve done alright so far.

“It’s been a wild, fun, exciting, and crazy ride so far. I’m looking forward to whatever comes in the future.”

Jack added: “I always tried to look at other darts channels and, back then (when he started The Darts Referee in 2019), there wasn’t a lot.

“I never really wanted to step on other people’s toes and do what they were already doing.

“I wanted to create my own little niche out of what was already a niche, to be honest.”

You can follow Jack on social media on X/Twitter, Instagram, and of course his YouTube channel The Darts Referee, where he regularly uploads fresh content.

By Aaron Gratton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Visit our online shop