The current world ranked number fifteen James Wade recently turned 40. As part of his birthday celebrations, wife Samantha bought him flying lessons and now the Machine is hoping his darts career can begin soaring once again.
"As part of my birthday celebrations my wife Samantha purchased me some flying lessons," Wade reveals in his column for the Daily Star. "Seeing as I am scared of heights, I’m not sure whether she was trying to cure me or kill me off."
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"I absolutely loved it. I found it fascinating and strangely peaceful and relaxing, and I am going to going to be completing the course," the former three-time UK Open champion continues. "I would love to get to the stage where I can do solo flights, and it would certainly make some of the organisation of world darts travel a little easier (although I’m not sure who I will persuade to travel with me)."
Indeed Wade has seen a marked drop in form recently. Perennially a top ten player the Machine has now dropped as low as fifteen. So could turning 40 spark something of a career resurgence for the Aldershot thrower?
"Practice sessions are showing me that the scores I can hit are as good as at any time in my career, and if you couple that with the experience I have of big situations and match ‘savvy’ then there is really nothing to stop me having the best decade of my career to date," says Wade. "The real crunch period starts in the summertime with Blackpool and the World Matchplay, but I need to ensure that I have fully found my form by then, so these Players Championships, European qualifiers and Euro Tour events are critical opportunities to do that."
Thank you for all the Birthday wishes. Turning 4️⃣0️⃣ not been to bad. Had my first flying lesson and a wonderful day with the family 🥳 pic.twitter.com/9j0Fq0n5vG— James Wade (@JamesWade180) April 6, 2023