History-maker De Sousa defeats Wade in BoyleSports Grand Slam final

Jose de Sousa

Jose de Sousa ensured a dream ending to his fairy-tale run at the BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts as he defeated James Wade 16-12 in the final in Coventry on Tuesday.

De Sousa makes history by becoming the first Portuguese winner of a televised PDC ranking event and just the sixth player to lift the Eric Bristow Trophy.

The 46-year-old completed a life-changing week with a 158 checkout, his highest of the tournament, to seal the momentous victory before immediately bursting into tears of joy.

"This is a dream come true, I can't explain my feelings in this moment," said an overwhelmed De Sousa.

"This is the greatest day of my life. When I hit the 158 finish I knew I was going to cry straight away.

"There is so much work behind me to get to this position. I am so thankful to everyone.

"Five years ago I was on my sofa at home watching the guys play on TV and I wished that maybe some day I can play against these wonderful players.

"It was a big change I made to my life in turning professional but look at me now. It's amazing and I'm very proud of myself."

De Sousa out-scored Wade, hitting 15 180s and a 99.95 average to Wade's 94.26, which resulted in him having 13 more double attempts.

The wait for a tenth televised PDC title goes on for Wade, who was left visibly frustrated at the conclusion of his third unsuccessful Grand Slam final appearance.

"In the final I was rubbish. He outplayed me by a million miles," Wade admitted.

"It hurts when you don't play well and it hurts when you don't contest someone. I'm still confused as to why that happened.

"I'm finding it hard to be positive after that, it's very disappointing. Jose played a lot better than me. The better man won on the day."

A nervy start to his first televised final saw De Sousa miss nine doubles across the opening three legs, allowing Wade chances which he took to lead 3-0.

However, De Sousa responded strongly with a break of throw and grew into the contest, with a 130 checkout seeing him level at five-all.

From there, the Portuguese took out 70 to lead for the first time at 6-5 and never looked back as he won four of the next six legs to open up daylight at 10-7.

The following leg saw De Sousa begin with six perfect darts, but a stunning 161 checkout from Wade ensured a vital hold of throw and reduced the gap to two legs.

The next two legs went the way of De Sousa to lead 12-8, but Wade won the next two to halve the arrears and apply pressure to his opponent.

However, De Sousa showed no signs of surrendering his advantage and pulled away from Wade before landing a 158 checkout to seal the biggest moment of his short PDC career.

The win catapults De Sousa up to 15th on the PDC Order of Merit as he continues his astonishing rise through the ranks since joining the professional circuit in January 2019.

BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts Final
Tuesday November 24

Jose De Sousa 16-12 James Wade