Martin Adams today celebrated his 60th birthday, the man they call ‘Wolfie’ has been in the BDO for 28 years and we think he deserves the title of ‘Legend’.
Adams has won over 90 titles worldwide including the Lakeside World Championship THREE times (2007,2010,2011) and the World Masters THREE times in a row (2008,2009,2010).
Adams was born in Sutton, London and started his darts career in pubs. He still plays pub darts, currently playing for Rigby’s in Market Deeping, Lincolnshire.
Following the formation of the World Darts Council in 1993, all the players that left the British Darts Organisation were banned from playing county darts, leaving England searching for a new team and a new captain. Adams took over the role in 1993 and remained captain until March 2013, becoming the longest reigning England captain ever.
Adams has won many BDO Open events and twice won the WDF World Cup singles, but often missed-out on winning the biggest tournaments. He was sometimes the victim of great comebacks and also great collapses himself when he found himself in winning positions. In particular, his 5–4 defeat to Chris Mason in the 1999 World Championship quarter-finals, having led 4–1 and seen nine match-darts pass him by in the match, is always mentioned among the greatest matches in the history of the event.
In the Grand Slam BDO events, other than the World Championship, Adams was runner-up on three occasions. He was beaten 6–4 in the 2004 Bavaria World Darts Trophy final by Raymond van Barneveld and lost the 2006 Bavaria World Darts Trophy final to Phil Taylor 7–2. He also lost to 17-year-old Dutch youngster Michael van Gerwen 7–5 in the 2006 Winmau World Masters final, having led 5–2 and despite averaging 107 for the first nine darts of each leg.
Having made his Lakeside debut in 1994 at the age of 37, Adams failed to progress beyond the semi finals of the World Championship until 2005 when he reached the final at the 12th attempt. He beat Davy Richardson 3–2, John Henderson 3–2, Ted Hankey 5–3 and Simon Whitlock 5–0 before losing 6–2 against van Barneveld in the final.
Adams reached his second world final in 2007. He was number one seed for the second time in his career and put out Tony O’Shea, Co Stompé, Ted Hankey and Mervyn King in his run to the final where he faced qualifier Phill Nixon. The two oldest players in the tournament (they were both 50 years old) reached the final. Adams stormed into a 6–0 lead, before Nixon produced an incredible comeback to level the match. Just when it looked like Adams may be heading for another dramatic defeat, having already missed four match darts, he went on to win all three legs in the final set to take the match 7–6 and finally claim the world title that he said he had been chasing for 14 years.
In the draw for the 2008 BDO World Championships, Adams was again paired with Nixon in the first round. In the match, Adams beat Nixon 3–0. After the game, Adams was clearly emotional in an interview following his victory, citing the memories of the 2007 final as the reason (the first time he had won comfortably). In the second round he came up against Martin Phillips. It was easy pickings for Adams, who cruised to a 4–0 victory with Phillips paying the price for many missed doubles. In the quarter-finals he played a fiercely fought match against Masters champion Robert Thornton, whom he led at one time 4–2. Thornton fought back to make it 4–4 but Adams eventually took control of his visible nerves to win 5–4. Adams went on to lose in the semi-finals to number-one seed Mark Webster, who eventually won the tournament.
Adams defeated Scott Waites in the World Masters final of 2008 to record his first Masters victory and his second major (after the 2007 Worlds), in another epic 7–6 encounter.
At the 2009 World Championship, he reached the semifinal for the fifth successive year, where he was narrowly defeated by eventual champion Ted Hankey. Later that year, he won his second successive Masters title, once again by a 7–6 scoreline in the final, over Robbie Green after Green led by 6–3 and had a dart for the title. This win made Adams the first man to retain the Masters title since Bob Anderson in 1988. Adams joined Eric Bristow, Richie Burnett, Bob Anderson and John Walton as the fifth player to win them in the same season
In the 2010 World Championship he beat a visibly nervous Anthony Fleet in the first round without losing a leg, followed by further comfortable victories over Daryl Gurney and Garry Thompson. In the semi-final he let a 5–1 lead slip over Welshman Martin Phillips before finally winning 6–4. He then defeated unseeded Dave Chisnall 7–5 in the final to win a second World Championship in a rematch of their first round match a year earlier.
In February 2010 he won the Dutch Open title for the first time in his long career. The England captain triumphed 3–1 over international team-mate Scott Waites in the men’s singles final in Veldhoven
Adams won his third successive World Masters title in 2010 by defeating Stuart Kellett 7–3 in the final, becoming only the second player in history to win three consecutive World Masters titles, the other being Bob Anderson.
Adams reached his fourth World Championship final in the 2011 tournament, defeating Tony West, John Walton, Ross Smith and Martin Phillips to get there. The match against Walton was especially memorable as it went to a sudden death leg, which Adams won despite Walton having the advantage of throw. Adams played Dean Winstanley in the final, the 3rd seed – marking the only time Adams played a seed in either the 2010 or 2011 World Championship – and won 7–5 to become the first player since Raymond van Barneveld to successfully defend the BDO World Championship.
Later in January, Adams successfully defended his Dutch Open crown, once again defeating Winstanley in a close final (3–2 in sets). Adams then reached the singles final at the WDF World Cup where he was defeated by Scott Waites, and also won the doubles event with Waites. At the 2011 World Masters, the three-time defending champion was beaten by eventual champion Waites 5–3 in the semi-finals.
Adams was the top seed at the 2012 World Championship. He beat Scott Mitchell and Gary Stone without dropping a set, but was defeated 5–2 in the quarter-final by former runner-up Tony O’Shea, who went on to reach the final.
Adams had a difficult season in 2012-13, losing in his first match at the Masters 3–1 to Rune David before being eliminated in the group stage of Zuiderduin Masters without winning either of his matches. At the 2013 World Championship, Adams was beaten 3–2 by teenage débutante Jimmy Hendriks.
During this period of losing to Rune David and Jimmy Hendricks at the later end of 2012 and the earlier seasons of 2013, Martin had been very much focused on his personal life. He lost weight and gave up smoking. Adams eventually refound his form and, entering the newly formed preliminary stage at the 2014 BDO World Championship, Adams reached the quarter-finals with comfortable wins over David Cameron, Tony O’Shea (in which O’Shea failed to win a leg) and Ross Montgomery before losing 5–2 to Jan Dekker. Adams got back to world number two and won a number of key tournaments. At the 2014 Winmau World Masters, Adams narrowly missed out on reaching the final for the first time since 2010 as he let a 5–2 semi-final lead slip against Jamie Hughes, also missing 10 match darts in the ninth set.
Last year Adams made his first ever appearance at the Grand Slam hosted by the PDC and he reached the last 16 only just losing out to Kim Huybrechts 10-9, Adams retained his dutch open title earlier this year, which is a huge achievement as the field is so tough.
Adams is still ranked number two in the world, now in the final years of his career we are all excited in what the future holds for ‘Wolfie’.