Rob Cross made a successful return to action on the PDC Home Tour last night, where he paid an emotional tribute to his late grandfather who passed away from Covid-19 last month.
Cross’ grandfather Colin Miles, 68, passed away from Coronavirus in April, having had underlying health conditions prior to contracting the virus.
The former world champion attended the funeral on Monday and only close family members were present due to the ban on mass gatherings, and Cross opened up on what has been an incredibly tough period for his family.
“It’s been a really heart-breaking couple of months,” Cross told the PDC. “My grandad went downhill really fast and it was a massive shock.
“It was hard to just have a few of us close family at his funeral. It wasn’t the send-off he deserved, that’s for sure. I think that’s the hardest part of this virus – from the moment the person goes into hospital, you don’t see them at all.
“It’s like someone is just ripped out of your life overnight and not seen again. It is totally surreal and feels like a bad nightmare.
“With over 30,000 people having been lost to this virus, I really do feel for all those 30,000 families going through what we have over the past couple of months.
“There’s no warning, no time to grieve. It’s like someone so special is plucked from your life. Somehow you have to stay strong for the people around you. My nan is living with us now, now it’s all about being there for her now and keeping her safe.”
The world number four returned to competitive action in the PDC Home Tour on Thursday and despite performing well below his best, he still registered three consecutive wins to advance to the last 32.
He kicked off his campaign with victory over William Borland, before edging out Dimitri Van den Bergh and Karel Sedlacek in last-leg deciders, despite boasting a modest tournament average of 82.08.
The 29-year-old opened up with a 5-2 win over a profligate Borland, before overcoming two-time World Youth champion Van den Bergh in a last-leg shootout. The Belgian averaged 10 points more than Cross and had darts to break in four separate legs, but he was unable to capitalise.
This set up a decisive tussle against Sedlacek, with Cross requiring four legs to secure top spot. His hopes appeared in tatters as the Czech stormed into a 4-0 lead, but ‘Voltage’ survived match darts and crashed in five maximums in as many legs to complete a sensational comeback.
The three-time major winner is the first man to recover from 4-0 down to triumph in the PDC Home Tour and speaking to Dan Dawson following his exploits, Cross’ thoughts were dominated by one man.
“I still miss the old boy so much but he would have wanted me to compete tonight. Hopefully next time I can play much better.”
Image: Lawrence Lustig/PDC