Darts fans step up to the oche to take on 'The Machine'
ALL the excitement of live, professional darts comes to Nottingham tonight as the Capital FM Arena hosts the McCoy's Premier League Darts.
Dozens of Nottingham darts fans had a preview of the sporting extravaganza in store when the second most successful player in Professional Darts Corporation history, and world No 4, James "The Machine" Wade visited Coral bookmakers at Beast Market Hill yesterday.
The left-handed darts player spent over two hours meeting fans, who also had the opportunity of playing a leg of darts against him.
The bookies was full with fans of all ages, proving darts is not the niche sport you might think.
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Joe Davis, 20, of Lenton, plays for the University of Nottingham team.
"I'm a big fan of James; it was exciting to play against him," he said. "I'm going to see him at the Arena. I got into darts a couple of years ago.
"I like darts because of the characters in it.
"We have a board in our kitchen and I practise for about 30 minutes a day. Darts is a great game to play as a team."
Paul Coleman, 56, from Sneinton, added: "I've not played darts for ages; I used to play at the King Billy pub in Sneinton. I saw that James Wade was visiting in the Post, which I always buy.
"I like the atmosphere you get at darts matches. When there's a 180 it's amazing. I wish I was as good as Eric Bristow."
Michael Turnbull, 70, from Wollaton also played a leg against James.
"I've been a darts fan since 1971. I always watch it on the television, I like it because it's relaxing, it has a calming influence on me," he says.
So, why is darts so popular?
James explained: "Darts is getting bigger and bigger each year. It has the highest viewing figures on Sky Sports after the major Manchester United football matches now. It's a professional and clean sport."
And is James looking forward to tonight's game?
"I've been practising all week for it," he reveals. "I want to really enjoy it and make the most of it. You get out what you put in."
For ticket details call Capital FM Arena on 0843 373 3000 or visit www.capitalfmarena.com