Wade: I Was Called Racist, Bully and Thug After Asada Incident

Red Dragon Darts

Former World Matchplay champion James Wade has told Up Front with Simon Jordan, that following an on-stage incident with Seigo Asada, he was called a racist, a bully, and a thug, despite the incident being a result of a “manic phase”, one of the consequences of Wade’s mental health problems. 

Featuring on the William Hill podcast hosted by the former Crystal Palace owner who speaks to sports stars and celebrities and challenges their opinions whilst scrutinising their careers, Wade discussed an incident where during a match against Seigo Asada, he shouted at and got in the face of his opponent:

“On that night I jumped around, shouted unintentionally in his face, and it was just unfortunate that he was standing where he was; I was unlucky there. I was backed up by Laura Woods because she said to hang on and see what I had to say, and I just came out with something that didn’t even make sense and was out of character for me, but people had been asked by trained professionals to not put a camera in front of my face right after the game because I needed time to calm down, and it wasn’t helpful for me when they put a camera straight in my face.

“I was being judged as a guy that had just gone up there and been nasty, but that’s not what it was, I wasn’t very well and you do go through stages where you aren’t quite right, and no one took that into account. I wasn’t helped, I wasn’t backed, and I was just made to stand in front of a board and be told I was this and that and made to face the full consequence, even though everyone had been given professional opinions from trained people that it was what’s called a manic phase, it was unfair.” 

Wade also touched on comments made by commentator Wayne Mardle, which implied that Wade was using his mental health issues as an excuse: “What was said by Wayne [Mardle] offended me massively and it upset me for him to question whether it was me using my problems as an excuse.” 

My Dad told me ‘I just want my son back’

Wade talked with Jordan about the mental health problems he has suffered from, touching on specific turning points such as his decision to seek help and a talk he had with his father prior to that. 

“I didn’t want to go anywhere for my mental health and after people spent hours talking to me they managed to convince me to go to The Priory,” said Wade. “Just as we were about to go I refused again, and my Dad just said to me ‘can I take you?’ I got in the car with my Dad and went there and I told him that I thought it was a load of nonsense and asked him what he thought and he said, ‘I just want my son back.’

“When I got there it was a relief because I knew there was something not right, and I knew there was an answer. It wasn’t just me being awkward, which I am by the way, but it wasn’t just that there was a reason for me being the how I was, and as soon as that was discovered it was a huge weight off my shoulders. Going there was probably the best thing I have ever done because by now I would have ruined every friendship, and I know why I’m going, people can help me, and most importantly I can help myself.” 

My second win was harder than my first 

Having never won a major, Wade talked about the mental side of winning in darts, adding that he found his second career win mentally harder than his first. 

“The second tournament I won was far harder than the first one,” said Wade. “I didn’t expect to win the first title that I won, and then the next title I won I was already thinking about winning another one. I was asking myself, was the first one just luck of the draw and the right week for me? 

“I didn’t think there was any expectation for me to win the first one but after that, I was thinking that everyone was expecting me to win another and the bookmakers had me from 150/1 down to 3/1 and that sort of stuff made me panic. 

“There are certain players that simply perform better and produce under pressure. How are you meant to perform when you’ve got 15,000 people behind you booing, saying things you don’t like, and you’re playing for £100, £200, or even £500,000? How do you perform and produce the right dart at that time? For me, that’s part of a player’s natural ability to be able to control that.” 

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You can watch the full episode here: 


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Images: PDC

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