"It felt like I had been eating chillies" - James Wade tells hilarious anecdote about dealing with Dirk van Duijvenbode's Deep Heat overload

James Wade is not having the best year of his career. But at the last European Championships he showed that his top form is slowly returning.

Wade lost 11-6 to Peter Wright in the final of the European Championship. "I have felt like I really needed a bit of luck and a deep run in one of these TV events to give me some momentum, and the European Championship certainly provided that," Wade said in his column at Daily Star. "The bit of luck I needed was probably the challenges that Dirk van Duijvenbode had in our first-round tie where he was clearly struggling with injury and needed the help of a huge amount of Deep Heat."

Wade, by the way, had another remarkable anecdote about that match. "I don’t know if it was shaking Dirk’s hand or just the fumes, but it got in my eyes and was burning like crazy. I don’t think I have ever taken my glasses off so many times in a match and it felt like I had been eating chillies."

'The Machine' clearly did draw confidence from that win against Van Duijvenbode and steamed through to the final. "In the end, the final with Peter Wright was a game too far. Peter was the better player and fully deserving of the win. I was disappointed to fade like that but consoled by the fact that I was back in the Grand Slam, a tournament I really enjoy."

Having missed out on the event for the first time in as long as I can remember last year, I am keen to make up for lost time and also defending the ranking points I picked up two years ago when I reached the semi-final at Wolverhampton," continued the 40-year-old Englishman. "I like the group format and once it gets into the knockout stages, the longer format games seem to really suit me."

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