World Matchplay news: Former winner and six-time finalist James Wade eyes another Blackpool triumph

James Wade has set his sights on a second World Matchplay crown as he returns to one of his favourite darting venues.

It's fair to say that if not for the indomitable Phil Taylor, James Wade would have been the greatest player in World Matchplay history. 

The Englishman has featured in six finals at the Winter Gardens, but only boasts one tournament victory.

Interestingly, four of his five final defeats all came against Phil Taylor. But then again, there's no shame losing against a player who has won 16 titles in Blackpool and only lost eight matches in the 29-year history of the event.

Nevertheless, this year's Matchplay marks the 15-year anniversary of Wade's sole Winter Gardens triumph, which saw him beat Terry Jenkins in the 2007 final.

"I can't believe it's 15 years since I won in Blackpool. It's a long time but it doesn't feel like it," joked Wade, seeded fifth this year.

"I really want to win another World Matchplay. I want to win every tournament I play in, but this one means a little bit more to me. It's always meant more to me.

"It is definitely my favourite venue. The first time I played there in 2006 was amazing and I got to the final. It is special for me."

While Wade does boast a special affinity with the event, his recent record there has not matched his usual standards.

The 39-year-old has won just four matches in his last six appearances, bowing out in the first round on three occasions.

This year, Wade kicks off his campaign against Martin Lukeman, and will be on a collision course with Luke Humphries or Nathan Aspinall should he progress.

READ MORE: World Matchplay news: Jonny Clayton admits Blackpool win would be one of his greatest achievements

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