Chris Mason opens up on why he walked away from professional darts

Jamie Shaw in Live Darts TV 23 May 2018
Mason opens up about his darting demons (credit:Live Darts TV)

Former World Championship semi-finalist Chris Mason has revealed the reasons why he prematurely called time on his darts career.

Mason, who reached the Last Four at Lakeside in 1999 and 2000 while also claiming multiple titles, has spoken openly about his battle with personal demons and his brushes with the law which effectively ended his time at the top.

The Bristol-born star enjoyed a roller-coaster career spanning 20 years before deciding to pack away his arrows in 2010, declining the offer of a Tour Card for the following season.

In January 2012, 'Mace The Ace' came out of retirement to compete in Qualifying School and played on the circuit as an associate member, though he is now established as a top television pundit and remains popular on the exhibition circuit.

In a candid interview during his appearance on Live Darts TV, Mason has opened up on some of the challenges he faced during his career and has shed light on some of his darkest hours.

"I think now we live in an era where everyone seems to have an opinion because of social media," said Mason.

"You get a lot of comments like 'you weren't very good' and I think you're pretty much based on what you win but I won loads of tournaments with all of the same players in.

"It wasn't the case that I wasn't good enough to beat them all, it was just the timing wasn't there, I wasn't good enough for that particular whole week.

"Most of that was self-inflicted because I was going through my own inner trauma at the time, I was self-medicating and I had a problem with abusing alcohol.

"I don't think going to bed at half five in the morning is probably the greatest preparation when you're live on Grandstand at half one that afternoon."

Mason became an integral part of ITV's darts coverage in 2007 and has since forged a reputation as one of the most straight-talking figures in the sport.

Alongside his TV commitments, Mason now commentates on Talksport Radio and hosts his own YouTube show and admits he has been fully transparent about his past.

"The reason I'm employed in this industry is not because of my past, because if my past was true, I wouldn't get a job anywhere," added the 48-year-old.

"Fortunately everybody I've worked for, I check the transcripts, I discuss it with them, we talk it through and they realise the facts behind the BS [sic].

"I was given my chance nearly eleven years ago, it wasn't something I'd started doing, I got involved doing media stuff in the 90s.

"It wasn't that I fell into it, it was a conscious decision that it was something I wanted to do.

"Unfortunately, the way I lived my life and the choices I made outside of being a professional darts player weren't wise ones."

Mason's last appearance on the PDC tour came in 2013, and though he has also competed in a scattering of BDO tournaments including the Romanian Classic and Lakeside qualifiers, he insists a full-time comeback in the near future is unlikely.

"This is how cruel the game can be, the other weekend I went up to the Newcastle Masters, averaged 96, won 4-0 and played lovely," added Mason.

"That keeps dangling the carrot but it's something I'm not going to rush in to.

"I'm still fairly busy with exhibitions but I'm going to make a decision over the next few months - I've not taken any bookings for next year.

"It's hard work playing because I still want to go up there and perform and when you under perform I just want to look for a place to hide on the stage.

"I feel like I should still be going up there and rattling in 180s and big averages and when you go up there and average 75, I'm mortified.

"If I wanted to sacrifice my sanity and start practicing four or five hours a day but I don't want to do that, I've got way too much on my hands at the moment.

"I'm on the verge of saying well look, that it's for and not play next year but then there's still a little bit in me that thinks, have one more go.

"The way things are going this year and the amount of pies I have my fingers in, it's more than likely I won't be playing at all next year."

You can watch the full interview here...

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Chris Mason opens up on why he walked away from professional darts

Former World Championship semi-finalist Chris Mason has revealed the reasons why he prematurely called time on his darts career.

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