The de la France 24/7 Boulangerie. As French as a hastily prepared ferry blockade yet staffed almost entirely by Chinese people, where George Street crosses Goulburn Street, Sydney. An unusual grip of homesickness has engulfed me, tinged with a certain sadness. One of my heroes, Sid Waddell passed away last year.

When you speak of the all time greats of sports commentary, very few could match Sid. Unparalleled for his peerless powers as a wordsmith, his unflagging passion for his pet sport and his ability to inform and entertain, the genial Geordie had it all. His passing last summer was a sad day for darts.

As I scrabble and scroll back and forth between Twitter, BBC Sport, emails, phone, books, there’s absolutely no doubt tonight’s PDC World Darts finalists are serving up an absolute treat.
Dear old Sid would’ve loved it. Michael van Gerwen, from the one of the now traditional outposts of darts, Holland has been in outstanding form throughout the competition. The future of the sport and a man for whom Sid would’ve been rolling out the well-worked one liners flies into an early lead, first two-nil then four-two. Phil Taylor, a Titan of the tungsten and the subject of some of the greatest Waddell-based commentary begins a fight back so typical of the great man.

I can’t see it nor hear it. There’s thrice as many people that will be lapping this up at Alexandra Palace that have walked past me, completely oblivious to another great day for this great sport happening on the other side of the world. Stony faced commuters at the end of their holidays, bronzed or burnt or both backpackers somewhere in between theirs. Efficient waitresses flit round with Lattes and Long Blacks. As the morning’s gone on, the swelling traffic has drowned out the Edith Piaf. Chase The Sun? Chase the bus more like.

Through my iPad I’m back home. Feet up in front of the fire, slippers on with a Glenmorangie (Hello Wiss!) in hand, looking towards the heavens as Taylor piles on the genius. Tweets and refreshed updates replace the looks of admiring disbelief from Dad and the brilliant Sky coverage from the Pally. Taylor hits back hard. From a perilous position of four-two down and the ‘darts is a young man’s game now’ platitudes doing the rounds, the grandad from Stoke on Trent, once again, prepares to amaze and inspire as only he can.
Four-two becomes four-three.
Four all. Brian Moore introduces me to a splendid new word on Twitter downplaying darts’ cynics and nay-sayers.
Four-five. We think we know what’s coming. Tweeting cricketers of all generations and abilities get behind the Stokie, the oft maligned Colin Murray is doing a great job in tandem with the live-blogger on the Beeb’s website.
Four-six. The young man, van Gerwen, judging by the commentaries, appears to be a broken man. Taylor’s experience and ability looks to have won him an unprecedented sixteenth world title.
Four-seven. Taylor’s trophy again. An outstanding achievement whatever your viewpoint on his sport. Van Gerwen’s time will come.

I well up at the mention of Sid’s name in the online post-final Taylor interview, a fellow tourist looks on quizzically. Lost in my memories and reminiscences I don’t bother to try and explain.
Sydney’s loss. Through Sidney I have gained.

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