Milly, left, and his cousin Matt Robinson celebrating King’s Lynn Town’s 2019/2020 title glory. Picture: IAN BURT

CHRIS ‘MILLY’ MILSOM is well known around the local sports scene and answers Gavin Caney’s questions after becoming Norfolk Darts chairman

Let’s start with football. Tell us about your involvement locally in the years gone by.

It started with running the line as a young lad for King’s Lynn Reserves in the UCL League during the Ellis Gay and Steve Nobes era. We had an amazing abundance of talent: Darren Suiter, Martin and Ross McNeil, Chris Bacon and Charlie and Jack Defty to name a few. 

I then became part of Reffley Royals alongside Robbie Back and Mark Curson. We won the Norfolk Junior Cup against Harleston at Carrow Road in 2012 (2-1 win) that’ll live long in my memory. 

I was also on the King’s Lynn Sunday League committee as the results secretary and had many great days with that side of the game as well. I dished out the fines every month so wasn’t exactly Mr Popular.

You’re a massive Linnets fan. It’ll be difficult, but can you pick out a favourite moment or player?

Obviously the big games stand out, why wouldn’t they? The Boston games from back in the day, Robbo from the halfway line (1999). The league title game away at Merthyr (2008). The home game against York in 2020, the 2018 play-off games against Weymouth and Slough were brilliant and the atmosphere was incredible. 

I’ve seen so many good players come and go, Darren ‘Wolfie’ Clarke was my childhood favourite when I started going with my dad. But growing up there’s been Lee Stevenson, David Staff, Carl Holmes. My present Linnets favourite would be Kyle Callen-McFadden. Rock at the back and all-round good geezer. 

When did your love affair with the King’s Lynn Stars begin?

I was taken to my first speedway meeting by Chris Pegg and got instantly hooked. It’s funny really as the lads at football would always take the mick out of Peggy for being a speedway fan, then I started going and my love for the sport grew. I’ve been going ever since but now it’s my job to go in a different capacity. My love for the sport has certainly not changed – what isn’t there to love about people riding bikes with no brakes at stupid speeds?

Cardiff Speedway Grand Prix weekends with the gang are the highlight of the calendar. I’ve had many a night spent in the Walkabout stumbling about after a few too many shots normally supplied by Stephen Lambert. 

What are you up to these days regarding the shale-based sport?

You can often find me in the pit area normally cracking jokes filling in my programme, interviewing riders, fuelling bikes or whatever else needs doing. My role at the club changed this year when I was given the opportunity to become the Stars’ media person. And I must give a massive thanks to Nigel Pearson for believing in me and giving me the chance to broaden my horizons and get involved with a sport that I love. 

It’s my job to update the guys with heat-by-heat updates, that’s then transferred onto our official social media platforms and then the pressure is on after the last heat to get the match report sorted and uploaded. 

Let’s talk darts. How did that all come about? 

It came out of nowhere to be fair. I would just go and watch my mate Simon Lewis play for the bowls club on a Monday night just as a social thing.

I remember playing my first game like it was yesterday. It was at the old Retreat and I was nervous as hell but won 2-0 and it went from there. The following week I had a set of darts kindly donated to me by Matty Bunting. I remember playing him in a competition in Sutton Bridge and I actually hit a 180 against him and I was that excited I got my phone off the bar and took a picture. 

I then took the captaincy over at the bowls club and the team went from strength-to-strength and we won the league and cup a couple of years on the trot. 

I still play now and then but speedway race nights take preference I’m afraid.

How did you become the chairman of the Norfolk Darts Organisation?

I’m a regular on the Norfolk county scene and have been for years. I made many friends when I started going to watch as a youngster and now even more from my super league side King’s Lynn United are playing for Norfolk. Our county scene is going from strength-to-strength. 

As anything with me I was in the wrong place and wrong time when it came to becoming chairman! Nah, in all honestly it’s something that needed doing after the AGM. There was a little bit of me that was going to take the role on but I was expecting somebody to come forward who’s more experienced than me. It didn’t happen and here I am the chairman of Norfolk Darts. 

It was pretty straightforward to be honest as you need certain officials in place for the county to be able to enter the league and Norfolk simply didn’t have them in place. Because of my love for darts and all my mates being involved I felt like it was my duty to step up and carry Norfolk darts into this year and maybe further.

Finally, what are your aims for darts, speedway, oh, and your hopes for the Linnets?

As long as I can do a good job at the helm of Norfolk darts then I’ll be happy. It would be nice to get promoted as well, I’m the worst loser ever and I tell everybody that. 

With regards to speedway, I very much enjoyed my first season as media man for the club, and like I said I’m grateful to Nigel and to Dale Allitt for giving me the chance to better myself and hopefully I can repay their faith in me again next season. 

As for the Linnets, it’s tough. I hope they can turn things around at home. They’ve shown plenty of promise and hopefully the fans can stick by the boys and get them through what’s probably a tough time for everybody. Injuries are proving a headache for the boss (Ian Culverhouse) but I’ll back the boys to the hilt and more so.

The facts are…

Steven Parkes and Milly before Reffley’s triumph at Carrow Road.

Name: Chris ‘Milly’ Milsom

Date of birth: October 21, 1985

Birth place: King’s Lynn

Grew up in: King’s Lynn

Football involvement: Reffley Royals and results secretary of now defunct King’s Lynn Sunday League 

Speedway involvement: Scoreboard operator, incident recorder and part of media team

Darts involvement: Captained Globe Bowls Club ‘A’ to league and cup glory. Now chairman of Norfolk Darts Organisation

Sporting hero: Ronnie O’Sullivan

Twitter: @Lordmilsom85

• Milly completed 100 miles walking to raise money for the King’s Lynn Samaritans alongside King Edward VII Academy head of PE and Heacham first-team assistant Ross McNeil during one of the coronavirus lockdowns.

• Milly actually missed Reffley Royals’ Norfolk Junior Cup final winner against Harleston at Carrow Road in 2012 because he was receiving medical treatment for what he described as the world’s worst nose bleed.

• He once scored a penalty past former Manchester United goalkeeper Raimond van der Gouw. 

• During his time working at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Chris met the Queen four times.

• Milsom states he has the worst phobia of snakes ever.

Quickfire Questions

Restaurant or takeaway?

Film or series?

Bath or shower?

Tea or coffee? 

Sweet or savoury? 

Summer or winter? 

Day or night? 

Holiday or staycation?

Favourite food: Indian

Least favourite food: Onion

Favourite TV programme: Great British Bake Off 

Least favourite TV programme: Coronation Street

Favourite band/musician: Coldplay

Least favourite band/musician: Cliff Richard

Favourite film: Spectre

Least favourite film: Anything horror

                          Answers in italics