Three-time Lakeside world champion Martin Adams is relishing his return to the Grand Slam of Darts stage in Wolverhampton this weekend, as he prepares to lock horns with Michael van Gerwen for the first time in nearly a decade.
Adams, who turned 60 earlier this year, made his Grand Slam debut twelve months ago and performed superbly, winning his three group games against Ian White, Jelle Klaasen and Steve Beaton. However, the most refreshing aspect of his debut was the care-free exuberance he played with, which endeared him to the PDC crowds.
This year, ‘Wolfie’ has been pitted alongside a certain Michael van Gerwen in Group A. The pair met four times in MvG’s BDO days, with the pair each winning two games. However, their most high-profile clash came in the final of the 2006 Winmau World Masters, when a 17-year-old Van Gerwen defeated Adams 7-5.
Despite this, the three-time Lakeside world champion is unfazed by the prospect. “We are all darts players, we can all do it on our day. It’s not like anyone is playing with four darts and you’ve got one poor bloke only playing with three or two. It’s a level playing field.”
“Darts is very much on the day. We all have our bad days. You’ve seen that with the Grand Prix. Someone you might expect to win, this time round he’s lost. A bad day at the office, so you shrug your shoulders, put it behind you, and move on. It’s all about having an enjoyable game, playing the best you can and entertaining the crowd that you’ve got with you.”
However, it’s been a difficult few months for Adams. In an interview with Sky Sports, he described “the shock to the system” which saw him diagnosed with prostate cancer in April. ‘Wolfie’ has undergone a course of radiotherapy and is philosophical when asked whether his ongoing cancer battle will impact his form.
“If I take part in a tournament, I take it as it comes. If it goes well, it goes well, if it don’t, it don’t. Exhibitions are obviously a lot easier to do. You haven’t got to worry about form, you just throw the darts and have a bit of a fun along the way, even if you lose a few more than maybe you would do. You’ve just got to keep laughing,” Adams added.
That final quote sums up Adams’ attitude perfectly. He’s one of the most respected players in the world of darts, due to the success and longevity he’s enjoyed in a career spanning three decades. Nevertheless, his refreshing attitude is one of the key reasons as to why he’s so well-loved by the darting masses.