World Championship quarter-finalist Luke Humphries has revealed that he will participate in this week’s Players Championship double-header in Barnsley, having bravely opened up on his struggles with mental health.
The 24-year-old suffered a cruel deciding-leg defeat against James Wade at the German Darts Open over the weekend, spurning six match darts as ‘The Machine’ fought back from 5-2 down to prevail.
Humphries acquitted himself superbly, although in a statement released on social media following his defeat, ‘Cool Hand’ revealed his struggles with panic and anxiety disorder, before revealing that he would be considering his future in the game.
Nevertheless, Humphries took to social media on Monday evening and said: “I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s messaged me and said the kind words you have, it really has helped and I have already started the ball rolling to getting myself the professional help I need.
“With this, I have decided to play in the midweek Pro Tours. Everything was originally in place for me to play and I will adhere to that. A full decision about whether I will take a break or not has not been fully committed to yet, but that decision will come in the next few weeks.
“I just want to thank my management, sponsors, family and friends for the support and love. I am truly in a great position and get to live my dream job as a professional dart player and the panic and anxiety will not take my dream away from being world champion one day.”
The Newbury ace is one of the most exciting talents in the game, having topped the Development Tour rankings in each of the last two years. However, he rose to prominence on the big stage after reaching the World Championship quarter-finals at the Alexandra Palace in December.
Humphries defeated Adam Hunt, former Lakeside winner Stephen Bunting, World Youth champion Dimitri Van den Bergh and 2018 world champion Rob Cross to reach the last eight, before his fairy-tale run was halted by eventual finalist Michael Smith.
These performances saw Humphries selected as one of nine ‘contenders’ for this year’s Premier League following Gary Anderson’s withdrawal and he performed superbly; averaging 101.30 as he drew 6-6 with Gerwyn Price in Exeter.
Humphries, currently ranked 55th on the PDC Order of Merit, has accrued £8,500 on the PDC Pro Tour in 2019 and is on course to qualify for his third successive World Championship.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC