What happened to Corey Cadby: The talented Aussie who disappeared but made sudden return to PDC Tour at European Q-School

It's been five years to the day since top Australian talent Corey Cadby first emerged onto TV screens with his match against Phil Taylor in the first round of the Sydney Darts Masters back on August 18, 2016.

'King' Cadby played excellently but lost 6-3 to Taylor. As if fate would have it, the two players faced off again in Perth a week later. Taylor threw an average of 111.65 in that match, but it was Cadby who surprisingly triumphed 6-2 against the 16-time world champion. This also made Cadby the first darts player ever to win a match against Taylor in Australia.

He then took on Peter Wright in the second round of the Perth Darts Masters. Again he played a good game, but despite an average of 109.57 the win went to Wright 10-2.

With these two matches, he showed that he had enormous darts talent. Cadby earned a contract with a well-known darts management company with his performances and made the crossing to Europe in October 2016 to participate in tournaments on the PDC Development Tour.

Immediately makes his mark in Europe

It didn't take long for Cadby to make his mark there too. Cadby won the second Development Tour tournament in which he participated in and then also reached the final of the World Youth Championship after victories over Luke Humphries, Martin Schindler and Dimitri van den Bergh, all players who have currently owned a PDC Tour Card for several years. In this final, he saw off another current Tour Card holder in 'Bionic' Berry van Peer who famously came back from dartitis following this period.

With this he earned a debut at the PDC World Championship. At Alexandra Palace, Cadby again showed that he does not suffer from stage fright. The Australian easily beat the Chinese qualifier, Sun Qiang in his preliminary round with an average of 102.48, still the highest average ever in the preliminary round to this day. Cadby then faced Joe Cullen and certainly made it difficult for 'The Rockstar', but another shock failed to materialize and the win went to Cullen 3-1.

Many fans hoped that Cadby would then head to Q-School in 2017, but the Australian decided to return to his home country. It wasn't until the summer months that we saw him again at the World Series tournaments, where he once again drew attention with a place in the Auckland Darts Masters final losing to Kyle Anderson.

Cadby also received an invitation that year to make his debut at the World Series of Darts Finals and managed to beat Jelle Klaasen in his first round. That led to a clash with Gerwyn Price, a duel in which both players used their perceived over celebrating as potential mind games. The win in that match though went to Price 6-5.

Cadby then traveled from Glasgow, where the World Series of Darts Finals were played to Wigan for the final tournaments of the PDC Development Tour and then the World Youth once more. Cadby was close to a second consecutive final spot, but lost in the semi-final to Josh Payne. That meant that Cadby missed a second participation at the World Darts Championship.

Impressive performance in first quarter of 2018

In January 2018, Cadby did go to Q-School and he immediately lived up to the great expectations by winning a PDC Tour Card on the first day.

It didn't take long for Cadby to live up to his billing on the Pro Tour as well. He won the fifth UK Open qualifier after beating John Part, Benito van de Pas, Simon Whitlock, Michael Smith, Kim Huybrechts and Rob Cross, among others.

A week after winning his first PDC ranking title, Cadby reached another final, but lost to Michael van Gerwen. In March 2018, Cadby made his first appearance at the UK Open but under bizarre circumstances - the tournament was played without an audience and in a freezing cold venue due to heavy snowfall in the UK, Cadby again made it to the final. Gary Anderson prevented Cadby from taking his first major title though.

Problems begin

The darts world was at Cadby's feet at the time. Everyone was talking about this Australian phenomenon and an invitation to the Premier League Darts in 2019 was inevitable. But what no one could have imagined that his last big run would be the UK Open as of time of writing.

Cadby went back to his home country after the 2018 UK Open. Initially to get married, but later it also came out that his tourist visa had expired. The Australian needed a visa to return to the United Kingdom. This process was difficult though because Cadby has a criminal record.

Instead of a quick return to England, Cadby only showed his face at two World Series tournaments in Australia that year. During these tournaments, Cadby mainly made the news with a photo that showed him being led away from the playing location by police officers which saw many thinking 'The King' had been arrested but this turned out not to be the case as he was just led away from a potential incident after receiving abuse.

'Broken arm' in car accident

In October 2018, the PDC reported that Cadby suffered a broken arm in a car accident and was unable to compete in the World Series of Darts Finals that season. To everyone's surprise, Cadby did participate in local tournaments two weeks later - even before the World Series of Darts Finals - where he pulverized his compatriots without any evidence of this broken arm.

Fans and darts followers questioned the reason for his cancellation from the World Series of Darts Finals and rumors of the difficulties in obtaining a visa swirled.

Cadby then also had to miss playing in the Grand Slam of Darts, Players Championship Finals and the World Darts Championship at the end of 2018. It was communicated at the time that a missing visa was the reason for his absence from the World Darts Championship.

Short return

In March 2019, Cadby's equipment sponsor Target announced that his visa application had finally been approved. Cadby then announced his return with much fanfare: 'Within three weeks I'm going to win a tournament or hit a nine-darter," he said at the time.

Cadby was able to win a Development Tour but after that on the Pro Tour he was unable to produce again. Cadby played one more Euro Tour tournament and two World Series events, but then disappeared again.

There was also the issue of an arrest warrant for Cadby by police in the Wyndham area of Australia that he failed to attend court on driving violations.

''But for the people who are interested about what you're seeing. With everything that has been going on. I missed a court date in regards to alleged driving with no licence. Which I do have. But I did attend court after the date I missed," said Cadby when this was put out to the public.

Cadby looked set for a potential return with 'The King' posting on Facebook selling groups that he had gone through a divorce with his wife and was looking to return raising funds with his match winning board against Phil Taylor in Perth.

"Being back home suffering the black dog after going through a divorce. I am coming to the UK to play the World Championship qualifiers. "

But this never happened, he gave up his Tour Card at the start of 2020 before Coronavirus hit and there was radio silence from Cadby.

Until May 2020 when he took part in an interview with Phill Barrs plotting his return to the tour to much discussion at the time saying the King was back and that he was setting his sights on the Oceanic Masters and Q-School.

*Update to article - January 2023

In May 2022, he signaled his ambition to return to darts with Matthew Edgar reporting this on Egdar TV and that he had enjoyed his break but that he'd be back soon.

This further developed in December 2022 with Cadby's management The Sportsman Management Company ran by Mac Elkin revealing he has entered into European Q-School in 2023 as he looks to make his return.

A return in which he made as he defeated Karel Sedlacek in the final of Day Two of the Final Stage at European Q-School with high averages of 101 and 103. After doubts about where his game was at, he produced his usual array of high scoring but at times poor doubling but is set for a return to the PDC Tour in 2023. Can he recapture his former glory.

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