Wayne Mardle has never questioned his desire to win the ultimate prize in darts – but he never realised how much until after last night’s superb win over Colin Lloyd.
The Dagenham thrower, one of the most colourful players on the PDC circuit, looked strangely subdued at the oche during his fourth round clash with ‘Jaws’ at the Ladbrokes.com World Championship.
He fell 3-1 behind at one stage but then produced some top-quality darts in a blistering 25-minute spell to prevail 4-3.
However, it was not until after he left the stage that Mardle revealed just how unwell he felt during the game.
“I think I played well because panic set in,” admitted Mardle, who will face Simon Whatley tonight. “I was just throwing on instinct and felt afterwards I had nothing more to give.
“I have got a chance now and hopefully once the game arrives I will feel a bit better. If I can get ready for tonight I have got every chance.
“That is what pushed me on last night. I thought to myself don’t lose because you feel unwell, try all you can and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.
“I didn’t realise I wanted it (the title) that much. Obviously we want to win it big time, but I want it so badly.
“I know I have got Simon next, and if I win that I could face Phil Taylor. If I beat him I could end up playing Peter Manley in the final, which would be the best final in the world for me.
“If I feel fine then everyone is in trouble. I can pull it our of the fire when I feel bad because I hate losing. Whether I feel rough or not I just want to get out there and play.”
Taylor, meanwhile, insists he has not been affected by the media hype surrounding his war of words with Peter Manley.
Manley, like Alan Warriner 12 months earlier, openly criticised the 10-time world champion and the story was given plenty of column inches.
“I don’t take any notice now – I would have done 12 months ago – but not now,” said Taylor, who faces Warriner tonight. “I have had it for 12 years so I am not bothered anymore.
“At the end of the day they are trying to earn a living and it is me who has been stopping them (by winning tournaments). I can’t blame them in a way.”