Date of Birth: April 6th, 1983
Place of Birth: Aldershot
Photo of James Wade by Chris Ibbotson
James Wade became the youngest player ever to win a major PDC title at the World Matchplay in 2007. He also won the 2007 World Grand Prix and the following year’s UK Open. He won the Premier League in 2009 and added the World Grand Prix and Championship League Darts in 2010. He secured a second UK Open title in 2011 and has been as high as number 2 in the world rankings.
Wade was just 18 years of age when he reached the final of the British Classic in 2001, winning his first title at the Swiss Open the following year. He made his television debut in the 2003 World Championship and also made it to the final of the Norway Open. In 2004, Wade reached the quarter-finals of the German Open, the Isle of Man Open and the International Darts League before switching to the PDC circuit.
He made his PDC World Darts Championship debut in 2005 before winning the Irish Masters and reaching the last 16 of the UK Open later that year. In the first round of the 2006 World Championship, Wade held a two set lead before losing 3–2 to Wayne Jones. Wade reached the final of the 2006 World Matchplay, beating Denis Ovens 10–1, Kevin Painter 13–9, Chris Mason 16–4 and Roland Scholten 19–17 in a tiebreaker. In the final he held an 8-5 lead over Phil Taylor before losing 18–11.
In 2007 Wade went one better, beating Wayne Jones, Dennis Priestley, Mervyn King, Adrian Lewis and Terry Jenkins to secure his first major televised title. He followed up with victory in the World Grand Prix in Dublin, again defeating Jenkins in the final. Wade was named the 2007 PDC Player of the Year.
He reached the quarter-finals of the 2008 PDC World Championship and became the first player to defeat Taylor in the Premier League with an 8-6 victory. Taylor would later defeat Wade 16–8 in the final. Wade claimed his first UK Open title with victory over Gary Mawson before losing to Taylor in the final of the Las Vegas Desert Classic. Taylor again proved too good in the final of the World Matchplay, winning 18–9.
Wade made it to the semi-finals of the 2009 PDC World Championship, losing 4–6 to Van Barneveld.
He won the 2009 Premier League Darts tournament with victory over Mervyn King but lost his UK Open title with a third round defeat at the hands of Peter Manley. Simon Whitlock defeated Wade in the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Championship and Taylor produced two nine dart finishes during a classic final to deny Wade 10-8 in the Premier League final. Wade won the 2010 World Grand Prix with a 6-3 victory over Adrian Lewis and followed up by beating Taylor 6–5 in the 2010 Championship League Darts final. Wade reached yet another major final at the Grand Slam, allowing an 8-0 lead to slip away and losing 16-12 to Scott Waites.
He won his seventh major title at the 2011 UK Open, beating Wes Newton 11-8. Yet again Phil Taylor stood in his way at the World Matchplay, defeating Wade 18-8 in the final. In the 2012 World Championship, Wade defeated John Part in a sudden-death leg to reach the semi-finals and held a 5-1 lead over Adrian Lewis. Wade missed a costly double 18 to win the match and his opponent won 10 straight legs to win 6-5. Wade was beaten 8-6 in the semi-finals of the Premier League by Taylor and the two met again the final of the World Matchplay. Wade had a chance to level the game at 15-15 but missed a vital double and eventually lost 18-15.
At the 2013 World Championship, Wade recorded victories over Peter Hudson, Steve Beaton, Vincent van der Voort and Wes Newton. In the semi-final against Michael van Gerwen, he hit a nine-dart finish and missed a double 12 that would have made him the first player to hit successive nine-darter's, eventually losing 6-4.