Nathan Aspinall has removed himself from social media after receiving ‘vile and disgusting abuse’ during a rough patch of form on the oche.
The Asp won his opening match at the Masters on Saturday, beating Dirk van Duijvenbode 10-5 to book a quarter-final clash with Daryl Gurney.
It was a much-needed win for the World Matchplay champion after an early exit at the World Championship, poor World Series outings and defeat on the opening night of the Premier League.
The 32-year-old admits that he has been a long way from his best on the board, but cannot believe what he has received online during a dip in form, forcing him to come off social media.
‘It’s hard. Everyone always says darts players are the most accessible on social media, but some of the abuse I’m getting at the moment is absolutely disgusting,’ he said. ‘People always forget that we are human players, not just darts players.
‘Yeah I’m going through a rough patch. I’m the first man to admit that I’m struggling at the moment.
‘I’m still turning up every week, I’m still trying my best up there. Give the guys a break, it’s bloody hard this game.
‘I’ve won the game against an under-par Dirk, who’s got an injury, I was under-par, but I won.’
Aspinall earned his spot in the Premier League this year by winning last season’s World Matchplay title, but came into the tournament lacking form, much like Peter Wright having won the European Championship but otherwise struggling in recent months.
‘Me and Peter are getting it for the Premier League,’ continued Aspinall. ‘Obviously Thursday night didn’t go how I wanted it to go, but what they’re forgetting is that it’s really, really hard. Darts isn’t easy.
‘It’s hard to not think about that when you’re on the stage, losing. That might be a negative about me, letting it get in my head, but it’s hard. All I can say is that I’m trying my best. I’ve got the best team possible around me, my family’s fantastic.
‘Hopefully that win [over Van Duijvenbode], even though it wasn’t great, hopefully can kick-start my season.
‘I’m off it [social media] now. It’s vile, a disgusting place. I’ve got a guy that runs it. It’s still on my phone, but it’s disguising, it’s embarrassing, human society is disgusting sometimes.
‘I love social media. I love seeing what the lads are up to. and all that stuff. Unfortunately I’ve got to come off that because of abuse because I’ve lost a game of darts.’
For more stories like this, check our sport page.
Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.