EVER since the Iberian sensation that is Jose de Sousa burst onto the scene, he has constantly both amused and bemused the darting fraternity with his baffling miscounts - now we know why. The Portuguese and his manager spoke to Darts World's chief news reporter, Paul Woodage, for our latest issue:
De Sousa is undoubtedly one of the world’s most talented players. But winning titles despite his condition further emphasises how ridiculously good he is. In a period of just over two years, his meteoric rise from virtual obscurity to one of the best tungsten throwers on the planet has been beyond belief. Impressive enough to see him dubbed 'The Special One' by Darts World and many others.
Yet Jose is more special than even his biggest fans know. Beneath the darting brilliance and easy to warm to persona, of José Augusto Oliviera de Sousa lies a hidden sadness:
Commonly described as mathematical dyslexia, Dyscalculia is an inherited genetic condition that affects how a person registers numbers. Unfortunately for the Portuguese star, this is the affliction he was diagnosed with a few years ago.
As De Sousa’s manager, Mac Elkin explains:
“He knows people laugh and even understands why. But genuinely, he knows all the checkout shots. It’s just that in his mind, José often registers a number in his head differently to what it actually is".
“Counting never used to be an issue because he only played on an electronic board. The machine does all the scoring, you just throw and not worry about the maths.
Concerned for his charge Elkin adds:
“At the moment, it bothers me a lot more than José but there will soon reach a point it affects his mentality. From time to time, he gets a little upset by the ridiculing so yes, deep down he admits it can hurt - he just tries to laugh it off."
For the full story grab your copy of the latest Darts World magazine or a great value subscription:
Lead image: Lawrence Lustig (PDC)
Other images: Darts World