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“I’ve put a lot of people through hell” – Corey Cadby lifts the lid on his darkest hour as he plots darts comeback

Jamie Shaw in Darts Interviews 03 May 2020
Cadby opens up on his personal demons (Photo by Chris Dean/PDC)

Corey Cadby has opened up on a nightmare 2019 in which he revealed he hit “rock bottom” and has issued a heartfelt apology to his management, the PDC and those close to him.

Cadby burst onto the scene as a brash, raw young talent in 2016, but has since been overcome by personal problems which have derailed his promising career.

The Tasmanian-born star made his TV debut in the 2016 Sydney Masters, going on to win the PDC World Youth Championship that year and eventually securing a coveted Tour Card at Qualifying School in 2018.

In his first month on the tour, he picked up a ranking title and was runner-up in the UK Open in March, but visa issues and personal complications saw him miss the next 13 months of competition.

He returned to the ProTour and Development Tour in April 2019, with his last ranking tournament coming at the Czech Open in June, but by the time he headed back Down Under for the World Series, the cracks had begun to show.

His relationship with his management and family had broken down, and he suffered successive First Round exits in Brisbane and Melbourne before refusing to board the plane to New Zealand for the next leg of the tour.

The 25-year-old was not seen in a PDC tournament thereafter and resigned his Tour Card at the end of the season, leaving him in the darting wilderness.

Cadby won the World Youth title in 2016 (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Now, in an raw interview with Phill Barrs, Cadby has opened up on his roller-coaster 12 months and has vowed to wipe the slate clean and resurrect his career.

“I promised a lot and I let a lot of people down,” said Cadby.

“It was all wrong at the start but I had to do it, not just for myself, but for Mac [Elkin] and Garry [Plummer] because they put in a lot of work.

“But if I had my decision, I wasn’t ready when I came over.

“To be honest I was my own worst enemy and I believe that I had no one in my corner, which was complete bullsh*t, there were a lot of people in my corner but I believed it was myself against the world.

“It all went pear-shaped.”

Cadby unleashed a series of social media tirades against his management, causing their relationship to break down and resulting in a damaging impact on his game.

He added: “I feel absolutely disgraced in myself and what I wrote was definitely not true.

“I was trying to bring everyone down to my level.

“I had never been a man for social media but I was putting stuff on there, and at this hard time, that’s what it depended on.

“Mac’s never betrayed me or anything like that, I do not know why I put it up.”

Cadby was officially reported to have “withdrawn” from the 2019 New Zealand Masters due to “personal reasons”, but ‘The King’ has now set the record straight over the real circumstances.

He failed to show at the airport and refused to answer calls from his manager and the PDC, leaving them with no option but to pull him out of the tournament.

Cadby revealed: “It was the worst World Series I’ve ever had, I can’t even bring myself to watch my games.

“I know for a fact it wasn’t me playing, it was the other Corey.

“I’m so disappointed in myself but hopefully I can build the bridges back.

“In Melbourne [World Series], that was me at rock bottom for sure.

“I thought everyone was turning against me, I don’t know why because I’ve always played darts to make money for the family.

“In saying that, I didn’t have my wife and kids on my side either.

“They were always there but I pushed them right to the side and it felt like they weren’t there.

“It is a disgrace, especially when I’ve been asked to go and represent the PDC.

“I did let a lot of people down at the end and I’m totally ashamed of that.

“Each day was so hard and that obviously led to alcohol.

“I was never one bit happy, I was actually depressed every day.

“I didn’t want to wake up and to be honest, there was thoughts of suicide on my mind.

“I never even watched the darts and that’s not like me. Usually as soon as there’s darts on, I’m watching it.

“Being a cigarette smoker and having everything to not being able to afford a cigarette, that’s how I knew I was at rock bottom.”

Cadby formed an unlikely rivalry with Phil Taylor (Photo by Steve Christo)

In October, Wyndham Police issued a search warrant for Cadby after he failed to show in court for charges in relation to alleged driving with no licence.

He relinquished his Tour Card in January this year having played only fraction of the tour, and though he says the decision was tough, he is certain it was the right one.

“With the circumstances I was in, the best decision was to give up my Tour Card,” added Cadby.

“Giving that Tour Card up has made me more eager to go back and get this card.

“It’s bitten me and made me realise what a Tour Card means – it’s a new start so I’ve got to go back and earn it.

“I’m a lucky man because I put a lot of people through hell.

“I think I need to give the PDC an email because my behaviour was atrocious, especially not showing up to New Zealand, it made them look like idiots.

“Hopefully I can come back over and have a conversation with Matt Porter and the rest of the PDC crew to say how sorry I am and give them an explanation as to why it happened.

“I’ve got to prove everyone wrong once again.

“I’m not that far off rock bottom but all I can do is look forward to the future.

“It was either get a day job or continue with darts, and having five months away from the game, having nightmares that I was waking up with dartitis, it proves to me that darts is the way I’m going to go.”

Cadby reached the UK Open final just two months into his PDC career (Photo by Chris Dean/PDC)

Cadby has begun reconciling his relationship with his management and sponsors and has recently competed in streamed webcam competition, which he hopes will kick-start a return to form.

The Australian ace plans to compete on the DPA circuit at the next available opportunity and use that as a route to qualification for the World Championship and a return to the UK on a permanent basis.

“I’ve just got to stay with the good vibes, appreciate the family that’s around me and go day by day,” Cadby added.

“Having Mac and Garry is a big help and is a motivation to not let them down again.

“I’m surprised they didn’t [walk away] and I don’t know why they haven’t, but I must be something special.

“I think I’m going to go back onto the DPA circuit to get some match practice and hopefully win the Oceanic to get in the Worlds, then while I’m there for the Worlds I’ll stay for Q School.

“They all say that I’m done – I’m nowhere near done.”