Manley defends position

Peter Manley believes his chairmanship of the Professional Darts Players’ Association should not be called into question following his Ladbrokes.com World Championship spat with Adrian Lewis.

Peter Manley believes his chairmanship of the Professional Darts Players’ Association should not be called into question following his Ladbrokes.com World Championship spat with Adrian Lewis.

The 43-year-old, who has courted controversy throughout his career, was accused by his opponent of swearing on stage just as the 20-year-old was about to throw in a quarter-final Manley won 5-3.

It was not the first time during the tournament that there were suggestions of gamesmanship involving Manley, who had kept Dennis Smith waiting on stage while he changed his shirt when losing 2-0 in his previous match before a successful fightback.

Some people, including 12-times world champion Phil Taylor, have suggested that kind of behaviour is not in keeping for a man who holds such a responsible position within the game, but Manley insists his persona on stage should be separated from his role as the players’ figurehead.

“You have to differentiate between the two jobs,” said the man seeded fifth in the event at Purfleet’s Circus Tavern, where tomorrow he will aim to reach the final for the third time by beating Wolverhampton qualifier Wayne Jones.

“I can argue with the best of them but I also have to try to keep a tight ship and keep things steady. I try to look after everyone the same because we are all equal, all professionals trying to win the top prize. If anyone thinks they can do the PDPA job better than me, good luck to them.”

Although he did not witness the incident first hand, Taylor thought that if Manley had deliberately tried to distract Lewis then action should be taken by the authorities, even suggesting the match should be replayed.

That will not happen though and instead, ‘The Power’ will try to lift the spirits of his protege Lewis by reminding him what a memorable World Championship debut he enjoyed, with the likelihood being that the Stoke youngster will capture the title within the next few years.

“It seems as though Peter did a number on Adrian,” said Taylor, who meets Wayne Mardle in tomorrow’s semi-finals.

“Adrian is not a nasty person and I’ll back him 100%. He has played the top players dozens of times already and he knows what they are like. He knows the crack and how they operate. They are no fools – if they see something that will upset the opponent they will do it.

“But I’ll make sure Adrian bounces back and that he takes no notice next time someone tries something like that.”

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