Wayne Mardle is known nowadays for being a leading commentator and pundit but as a player, he reached five World Championship semi-finals and one in particular stands out and that is 2008 when he missed the biggest chance to potentially win the biggest title in darts.

Mardle spoke to Phill Barrs about it and said that before hand he felt good about his chances knowing the year he’d had and who he had defeated in tournaments prior to the 2008 edition.

“I fancied it, I’d been playing really well up to it. I’d won a couple of events, big ones as well I’d won a Players Championship and a tournament in Germany beating James Wade in both finals and James at the time was reaching final every week. He was playing well,” said Mardle.

In the Quarter-Finals, Mardle saw off a great rival in Phil Taylor in an absolute thriller: “I knew how to beat him once I was in that mood to beat him and that was to antagonise and annoy him. I was never as good as him so for a lesser player to beat someone better than you, you’ve got to try something different.”

Going onto the semi-finals, Mardle would have hoped to keep that going but came up against Kirk Shepherd in arguably the biggest opportunity he had to claim the World title: “My attitude was shocking, I thought I’d win I thought I’d humiliate him. In the end, he was the professional one out of the two.

I learnt a lesson the hardest way. It was supposed to be me easiest, it was my fifth but it was my hardest as I was dealing with being the better player in the match. It was knowing that no disrespect to Kirk, I was miles better as a darts player.

In my mind, I’d reached the final. I thought I’d have beat John Part in the final but it didn’t work out.”

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Author: Samuel Gill