”For me, it’s the best atmosphere in any darts venue”

JAMES WADE admits he loves the World Matchplay because he can “feel the pressure” on stage.


The Machine will face Chris Dobey in his opening clash at the Winter Gardens on July 16.

But 2007 Matchplay champ Wade, 40, has revealed that Blackpool in his favourite venue because of the intimacy of the stage.


Speaking on William Hill’s Up Front with Simon Jordan, he said: “It doesn’t matter what is at stake, it is the venue; lots of players say the Alexandra Palace holds the best atmosphere, but for me, the best atmosphere in any darts venue is Winter Gardens in Blackpool because it is close, intimate, and you can feel the pressure.


“When you go to Alexandra Palace, it just feels cold to me – you get drivers who perform well at certain tracks and some that they don’t, and you get certain venues where darts players do play well at and some where they don’t.”


Wade believes that his lack of affection for the Ally Pally is one of the reasons for him missing out on the World Championship.


He added: “I think one of the big things is it’s a long time for me to keep a good mindset – three weeks is a bloody long time for me to keep straight – and secondly, the venue doesn’t feel that exciting to me.


“I always used to think that winning the World Championships didn’t bother me, but it does because I’m talking about it. I deserve one. Unfortunately, I had a mishap in one of the World Championship where I chose friendship over what benefitted me to move on to the final and there’s no question that I would have beaten my opponent to get to the final.


“I was 5-1 up against Adrian Lewis, there was wind on the stage, and I had the choice of whether to come off or just play through, and I would have won the next set easily because his head was gone, but I did the gentlemanly thing and came off.”


By Phil Lanning

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