Paul Nicholson will be a welcome sight at the PDC World Championship.
Once a divisive figure, Nicholson has become a firm fans’ favourite during a sobering spell in the darting wilderness. In December the Asset will put aside his broadcasting duties to return to the PDC’s top event after a three year absence. Nicholson, who made the 2009 quarter-finals, will not be expected to make waves at the Alexandra Palace. It’ll be Nicholson himself to whom the Newcastle-born thrower has something to prove.
“I’ve got stuff to prove and the biggest person I’ve got to prove it to is myself,” he told Live Darts.
“I’ve done enough, I’ve had a half decent year, but there’s so much more I want to do and when I get on that stage it’ll all come flooding back.”
Nicholson will play Tom Kirby Memorial winner Kevin Burness in the first round. Should he win, Gary Anderson is his second round foe. It’s a tough tie for Nicholson, but he has plenty of belief – largely fostered by the European Tour. As a result of his exploits on the continent, he believes his World Championship spot has been well earned.
“I think it’s just deserts for a lot of hard work I’ve put in over the course of the 12 months since the last championships,” he said.
“On the floor it hasn’t been brilliant but the qualifiers for the European Tour events really have helped me this year.
“I’ve got through a lot of those and got myself in the European Championship which is brilliant, but when I’ve been on the stage I’ve actually felt alright.”
Return of the Asset
Nicholson became somewhat of a pantomime villain in his heyday. That role is now filled, but the 39-year-old did admit that his on-stage persona would be resurrected.
“I’ve always been an adrenaline player and I’ve got to maintain that level of adrenaline, when it does dip I’ve got to find a way to bring it up.
“I’m not going to go to the levels of Gerwyn Price but I am the kind of player who needs the blood pumping to do the best that I possibly can.”
He added: “I’m really looking forward to the challenge because I do deserve it. I can’t wait to get the shades back on!”