James Wade said he “wanted to really hurt” Japanese player Seigo Asada after aggressively shouting in his face during their PDC World Darts Championship match.
World number nine Wade was given a major scare by the qualifier at Alexandra Palace before eventually progressing to the third round 3-2.
Former player Wayne Mardle described Wade’s behaviour as “thuggish” and said there was no place for it in darts.
“I kept giving it to him, I wanted to hurt him, I wanted to really hurt him in his face,” an unrepentant Wade told Sky Sports.
“It wasn’t a great game but I wanted to hurt him and I wanted to progress. That’s for my son, and also for the UK.”
Wade, who will face Jelle Klaasen or Keegan Brown next, twice came from a set down to progress, with the major talking point coming when he attempted to intimidate Asada by yelling in his face after levelling at 1-1.
Mardle, who was working as a television pundit, was appalled by the incident and felt Wade overstepped the line.
“Does he mean he wanted to punch him in his face? What does he mean? I’m absolutely lost for words,” said Mardle.
“That’s just not on. The intimidation, overly aggressive, I hope he wakes up in the morning and thinks, ‘I’ve made a mistake there’.
“He can’t think that’s right and no-one watching it can think it’s right. That’s thuggish behaviour, there’s no place in darts for that.”
It was a certain celebration from Wade that angered a lot of darts fans, as well as his post-match interview.
You can see the controversial celebration below and make your own mind up.
The gripping encounter between Wade and Asada came after Simon Whitlock became the latest big name to crash out of the tournament.