JAMES WADE was a mechanic before the PDC and Sky Sports changed his life.
The Machine is a four-time World Darts Championship semi-finalist and has won the World Matchplay, World Grand Prix and UK Open during his career.
James Wade was a mechanic before joining the PDCGetty
However, things could have been very different for the world number 16 had it not been for the PDC and Sky Sports.
Speaking in 2021, Wade explained: “Without the PDC and Sky Sports, I’d still be a mechanic playing darts in the pub.
“I’m grateful for the lifestyle and the opportunities they have given me.
“I’ve done my bit to promote myself and the sport at times, and my record is better than 90% of PDC players in terms of trophies and titles won.
“Maybe I’m not as marketable as others – and that’s okay, I understand that.
“I’ve tried jumping up and down, making a show of myself in front of the cameras, but I’m not that person. It was false.
“I’d like to be that ‘fashionable’ commodity but I’m just fortunate to be a person who’s sometimes quite good at playing darts.
“And I’d like to be popular – because you don’t have to be a world-beater to win recognition.
“Wayne Mardle never won a world title, but he was good at dancing, the Hawaii Five-0 act and he was really popular.
“Was he a better player than me? No – but he proved that it’s not all just about landing a dart in a tiny little target the size of a paper clip.
“But I’ve been playing the game for nearly 20 years, I’ve won 11 majors on TV, the game has been good for me and I’ve done all right for darts, too.
“I’ve been really lucky – I’ve put myself in a very small category in terms of how much I’ve won, but it’s all irrelevant unless you are comfortable in your own skin.
“Maybe I’m not marketable or fashionable or flavour of the month, but I’m honest with myself – and all I ask in return is that people are honest with me.
GettyWade credits the PDC and Sky Sports with changing his life[/caption]
“Have I misbehaved multiple times? Yes.
“Have I been promoted as much as I could have been? No.
“Everyone knows I’ve had my issues, and it’s not for me to say whether they have been handled fairly.
“But I do know I’ve achieved way more than other darts players who get the halo because they are more ‘fashionable’.
“If everyone connected with darts is honest, they will know what I’ve done in the game and what impact I’ve had on the game.”