NATHAN ASPINALL reveals he has gone from sublime arrows to making slime with his daughters. The World No.7, who has roared up the rankings over the past 18 months, is getting used to life at home, social distancing shopping for his grandparents, and homeschooling.
Stockport star The Asp takes his place in the PDC Home Tour Championship group tonight against Gary Anderson, Jonny Clayton, and Jelle Klaasen. He admits: “I spent the first week of lockdown making slime with my two daughters. I leave the clearing up to the missus!“We haven’t got the biggest back garden, so it’s just been painting and a bit of homeschooling. We have Brooke who is eight and Milly is two.
“We immediately set up a bit of a routine with Brooke doing an hour or two a day of school work and proper activities. It’s hard for the kids because they’re not seeing their friends so we have to do our best for them”.
“It’s hard for everyone really. I’ve been doing the shopping and get medication for my grandparents who live just five minutes away. They’ve been self-isolating for three weeks now. They leave a list under the green bin, I collect it and then leave the stuff outside their front door.”
“I’m actually loving spending time at home. It’s going to really tell me how strong my relationship with the missus is!
“We were planning to get married next year. It’s good for us to see how it is to be a normal couple day after day. “We were meant to book the venue last week but we couldn’t do that because they are not taking any further bookings.”
Aspinall admits that he is so relieved after two World Championship semi-finals and a UK Open win gave him money in the bank to survive the Covid-19 lockdown. But the kind-hearted rising star is concerned along with other top players of the plight facing pals and rivals on the breadline.
“I feel very lucky to be in an OK situation”. A lot of my family are in trouble with work. My mum works for the Co-op, my dad and stepdad are both self-employed and have no savings and are very worried.
“If push came to shove, I will do my best to help my family. I do look at my life and think ‘Thank God I’ve got this money in the bank’.
“It’s not even just getting through the situation we are in now. But when it all gets back up and running, the pressure I would have been under would have been incredible. I would be in debt and needing to put food on the table again.
“It’s been really hard for the players outside the top 32″.
When it does all start up again that’s what so many players will be facing, real pressure to win matches.“Any money that they have managed to save will have gone just surviving through the lockdown.“I’ve been in that position before and it’s really not nice, trust me. It’s so hard to play darts with that pressure.”
“To be fair to the PDC and PDPA they are constantly in touch with us and have been a real help throughout this time.”
Pix: Taylor Lanning
The Asp will attempt to capture another PDC title this evening when he does battle, with Gary Anderon, Johnny Clayton, and Jelle Klaasen, for the Low6 Home Tour title.
Friday June 5 (1930 BST)
Nathan Aspinall v Jelle Klaasen
Gary Anderson v Jonny Clayton
Jelle Klaasen v Jonny Clayton
Nathan Aspinall v Gary Anderson
Gary Anderson v Jelle Klaasen
Jonny Clayton v Nathan Aspinall
All games are best of 11 legs.
Fans in the UK & Ireland can watch through the Sky Sports App.
As well as being shown through a series of bookmakers’ websites, the Low6 Home Tour will also be broadcast live by a number of the PDC’s international broadcast partners listed below.