A defiant Wes Newton has spoken of his determination to arrest and reverse his dramatic slide down the world darts standings.
Two years ago the personable Fleetwood darts ace was mixing it with the elite as he took his place in the Premier League as one of the best eight players in the world, but his form has seen his global ranking nosedive to a lowly 54.
Now he has found himself on the outside looking this Christmas and New Year after missing out on qualifying for the world championships at Alexandra Palace.
One of the problems was a shoulder injury on his throwing arm, which often left him in severe pain.
The 39-year-old said: “When I lifted my arm, the collarbone was pricking the tendon and I was in agony – it’s an injury that painters and decorators can get.
“I thought about having an operation, but I decided against it because it would have meant being out of action for three or four months.
“Looking back maybe I should have had the operation, but I have not had any trouble with it for a few months now.”
The loss of ranking points – and therefore pounds in the bank – has led to an adjustment in home economics for his young family, but he is anything but despondent.
Newton said: “I realise I am not where I want to be because darts is my living and that has taken a big hammering, but you can’t allow yourself to dwell on things and be down.
“I still feel have the ability to get back to where I want to be, earning prize money in the TV tournaments. I need regular tournaments, but the problem for me is that the next one I can take part in doesn’t come round until February.
“But at least I can spend the whole of Christmas and New Year with the family – and not have it ruined by being knocked out of the world championships! And a New Year means new beginnings.”