Our Local Heroes

19 Dec 2011

An interview with local darts champion Wayne Jones.

Have you lived in the Wolverhampton area all your life?
I was born in Bushbury, but lived in Wentworth Road, Wednesfield for most of my childhood. I've lived in Wednesfield for 18 years.

Were you brought up in a Council house – what are your memories of this?
Yes I was but it never felt any different than owning my home.

When and where did you start playing darts?
Mom and Dad bought me a darts board and a set of darts for my 15th birthday. I had this up in my bedroom at Wentworth Road.

When did you realise you could make a living at the sport?
Over the last 10 years or so I have done well. There have been changes to the old system and the Professional Darts Corporation has improved the tournaments and the prize money, but the only real way to make money is to qualify for TV events.

Do you still enjoy playing or do you find the pressure gets to you?
I still enjoy major tournaments but I do struggle a bit with local leagues. I do feel the pressure of expectation playing against pub teams.   

Playing in different competitions you must get to travel all over the country and abroad - do you enjoy the lifestyle?
Apart from sitting in airports playing abroad is great.. We do travel a lot but I have to say I enjoy it. It’s not a bad job when things go well!

What career would you have taken if you hadn’t taken up darts professionally?
I was an insurance agent for Britannia for many years. I really don’t know what I would have become or do now without darts. I am the Frank Spencer (Some Mothers Do 'ave em) of Wolverhampton. Hopeless at most things.

Have you any regrets?
No, things haven’t worked out too badly overall.

What are your hopes for the future?
To carry on playing and winning enough money to keep me and the girls (my daughters) stress free.

What would be your advice to young players starting out?
There has never been a better time to play darts professionally. It’s hard but the rewards are there. For youngsters, get a set of darts you’re happy with and practise as much as possible playing competitive darts. As a boy I would play for hours on end.

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