‘Don’t write me off’. That’s the rallying call from Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams ahead of the BDO World Championship.
The big event at the Lakeside Country Club in Frimley Green, Surrey, kicks off on Saturday and Adams (60) insists he’s raring to go despite a torrid last six months.
The big man from Deeping St James was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the summer and he spent the second half of 2016 concentrating on his health. Competitive darts took a back-seat.
Happily, after a course of radiotherapy treatment, he’s winning his battle with the disease.
“My PSA level in November was down to 0.1 and that’s as good as an all-clear you can get,” he said.
“I’ve still got to go back in six months, but for the moment it’s looking good and I’m a very happy man.”
But while undergoing the treatment Wolfie was forced to spend a lot of time away from the oche. He missed some tournaments and his form dipped and he goes into this year’s championship seeded five - his lowest for some years.
He firmly believes, however, that he’s got a chance of landing the prestigious crown for a fourth time. He won it in 2007, 2010 and 2011 when on the top of his game. Only Eric Bristow (5) and Raymond van Barneveld (4) have won it more times.
“I’m as hungry as ever and still want that fourth win and Eric’s record,” said Adams.
“I’ve still got the hormones in my system from the cancer and they can take a year to come out. Unfortunately it means some days I wake up with pain in my arms, legs or shoulder. Every day is different. Some days I wake up fine and on other days I feel rubbish.
“So it all depends how I feel on the day. If I feel great you never know - it could be me again. I reckon any one of 10 players can win it and I’m one of them.”
Adams certainly won’t be lacking experience of the big Lakeside stage. This will be his 24th consecutive year at the championship - a tournament record.
“I just love playing there. The atmosphere, the TV cameras, everything about it is just brilliant. And a first prize of £100,000 ain’t bad for a week’s work is it?”
Adams’ first round opponent on Sunday afternoon, live on Channel Four, will be the winner of the preliminary round tie featuring Sweden’s Dennis Nilsson and England’s Ryan Joyce.
“I know Ryan. I think I’ve played him before but can’t remember whether I beat him or not. Nilsson I’ve never come across before. But I’ll be taking nothing for granted after what happened last year.”
Adams went out at the first hurdle last year when beaten 3-0 by Jeff Smith, an unseeded qualifier.
“Whatever happens I’ll enjoy myself - I always do. I love Lakeside and this year I’ll have every reason to smile after the news I’ve just had.”
Glen Durrant is this year’s number one seed with reigning champion champion Scott Waites seeded two.