Tabern looks back on return to World Championship: "I thought my days were gone when I lost my Tour Card"
Alan Tabern is a former World Championship Quarter-Finalist and an interesting story with 'The Saint' a former PDC title winner albeit having joined the tour initially on a whim before qualifying the World Championship first time.
"I wasn't playing an awful lot of darts at the time when I joined the PDC really and I just started doing local and county stuff and a friend of mine, Gary Welding who used to be a PDC thrower himself kept asking me to join. I didn't think I was good enough to be honest with you but I went the World Championship qualifiers and lucky enough won on the first attempt. The rest is kind of history," he said to the Weekly Dartscast.
World Championship debut
From there, he made his World Championship debut in the days of the Circus Tavern where he defeated an elite player in the time in Alex Roy.
"Alex was in the top 20 at the time so it was a tough draw. My mindset for that game was a lot of people qualify for the World Championship and there's different routes to get in there. All I kept saying to myself is I've got to get on that stage and I've got to win to prove I belong. I needed to beat a top player on stage and then I could believe."
First ProTour triumph
From there, it was a year which saw Tabern's main success including a ProTour win which he still holds in high regard.
"It was extremely special because I think it was only my third day event and I won a ProTour. We used to play on one day and the winner went through to the following day, Last eight played to the winner. I think I had to play Andy Hamilton and Raymond van Barneveld to get to the final and then I beat Steve Maish in the final. That for me was one of my highlights of my career because it's never handed to you on a plate."
Return to the World Championship
After rejoining the PDC Tour, he made his return to the World Championship where he lost out in the second round to Michael van Gerwen and he looks back with fondness on that.
"It was exciting. Because I used to qualify every year. Being a top 10 player, I was automatically in everything. I thought my days were gone when I lost my Tour Card. I started doing the Challenge Tour, I won a few Challenge Tours so I knew I was good enough to play at a certain level, I never thought I would get back to playing on the World stage again."