Mardle looks back on 2008 World Championship heartbreak against Shepherd: "It was like the whole world had caved in on me"
The 2008 World Championship provided moments of utter euphoria as well as despair for Wayne Mardle who famously lost out to an unknown in Kirk Shepherd in a semi-final he was expected to win.
Mardle spoke recently as part of the The One That Got Away podcast with Sky Sports to colleague and close friend Rod Studd about not only that match but achieving brilliance against Phil Taylor in the Quarter-FInals.
"Against Phil, I went 3-0 down in sets, playing dreadfully. I had no rhythm, I couldn't let go of the darts properly. I was absolutely panicking," Mardle recalled. "It was all going wrong and I was feeling the pressure, but I eventually relaxed and he didn't like it! "Bearing in mind Phil Taylor hadn't been beaten before the final in 14 years, the way he acted afterwards was that of a champion. The first thing he said was: 'Go and win it now mate'. I still can hear that. It is so vivid.
"When I got home there were three handmade cards that had been put through the letterbox at my house by neighbours, just saying: 'Well done Wayne, brilliant win. Go on and become world champ'. "I'm thinking: 'This is special this.' It felt like I'd actually achieved something, but of course, nothing was achieved just yet."
This euphoria soon turned to despair though when he lost to Shepherd and he revealed the emotions he was feeling following it calling it a 'haunting image'.
"After you left the stage, I was at the Alexandra Palace and as I wandered backstage, you were sat beside this marquee with your head in your hands - motionless, pale, cutting the most desolate of figures, it was quite a haunting image." "The thoughts you can have in milliseconds is quite incredible. It was like the whole world had caved in on me. I'd let myself down, my family down. My actions on stage - this was a World Championship semi-final. Had I learnt nothing? "Whilst I felt my career wasn't over, I knew that was an opportunity to reach a world final and at that precise moment, that really stung."