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28th Dec 2018

Three more counts of disrespect as James Wade crashes out

Conan Doherty

It was always going to end this way for James Wade

The most unpopular man in Ally Pally crashed out of the World Darts Championship in a seven-set last-16 thriller and, as he was brought to his knees, the arena jumped to its collective feet. The killing of the ninth seed’s tournament hopes brought nothing but elation to the Colosseum of swings and arrows.

James Wade must wonder how it got to this point.

How, when after his first win of the competition, he tried to declare that he did it for Britain? Or “a bit of the UK”, at least.

When he had a snide pop at what they call ‘virtue signallers’ with a poorly-delivered quip about his 10-week-old son texting him, he probably thought he was going to galvanise a section of the country.

That must be why he originally doubled down on why he got in Seigo Asada’s face and stated that he wanted to hurt him. That the show of aggression towards the Japanese native was for his son and for a bit of the UK.

Perhaps he just miscalculated how many people were out there ready to answer his call to arms for what was an unclear, pointless crusade.

And, from that moment on, it was nothing but torture for Wade who, ironically, seemingly enjoyed the torture when he was dishing it out.

When he finally apologised, it was too late for too many. So his next return to Ally Pally wasn’t a pleasant one.

Rather than that ‘bit of the UK’ showing up to join Wade’s cause – whatever it was – it was just relentless boos, so much so that the Englishman almost walked off the stage at one point.

On Friday night, it ended with more boos until they turned to cheers until they turned to do-do-do-do-dos. Wade’s sand-filled empire had crumbled around him as Captain America and the Banana Man danced up and down to the tune of every close of play at Ally Pally.

All that was left was for James Wade to reach for one last display of true lack of class.

He seemed to be annoyed at the crowd after blowing his chance to rescue the game.

Then when Ryan Joyce beat him, he just reacted by shrugging shoulders and mouthing to his corner before issuing the worst handshake of all time.

Finally, he didn’t shake hands with the officials. Instead, he looked to be gesturing something at them as he walked off.

And, with that, his season is over.

Another disappointing end to another fine game of darts.