COUGHGATE villain Justin Pipe claims his family have been subjected to horrific abuse over the past 48 hours.
And the world No.27 blasted the “out of order” Sky Sports pundit Wayne Mardle for suggesting Pipe intentionally coughed to put off an opponent.
Phil Taylor moved into the third round of the PDC William Hill World Darts Championship with a comfortable 4-0 victory over the Taunton thrower.
Pipe came under-fire following his first-round win over Bernie Smith when videos emerged on social media of him clearing his throat as the New Zealand qualifier was throwing for the match.
The Force was loudly booed on the oche with cries of “cheat” and “you’re f****** s***” from an angry 2,500-plus audience.
Pipe said: “It’s been a very hard week. I have kept my mouth shut.
“I have been verbally attacked and abused. My family has got it as well.
“Wayne Mardle is bang out of order for me. It’s totally wrong. You do not jump to the conclusion that somebody has heard something when they hadn’t.
“I have been playing darts on TV for 10 years. I know where the cameras are. There are microphones on the stage. Nobody heard anything. And it is wrong.”
Pipe denies coughing behind the back of Smith as he had match darts and claims he has text messages from the Christchurch plasterer which confirmed there was no noise.
Pipe added: “I held that cough back. I didn’t hide my body movements.
“100% it looks awful on video. But there was no noise.
“I will go on Twitter – a tool for hatred – and post pictures of Bernie’s message to me, saying: ‘I didn’t hear anything bro.’
“The haters will hate. I don’t care about Wayne Mardle fans. I want my family, genuine fans and PDC to know that I did nothing wrong.”
A sympathetic Taylor leapt to Pipe’s defence, saying: “I have had 30 years of experience but I have never played in a game like that in my career. It was very strange.
“Towards Justin, it wasn’t nice. I felt sorry for his family. I could see his wife, his son, and friends. They were here to support him. He is here to win the world championships like everybody else.”
Pipe played up to the role of the pantomime villain on the stage by cupping his ears and giving it back to the fans in what was a vitriolic first set.
But the 46-year-old, who was wearing earplugs, missed set darts in the first set and then played like a drain for the rest of the match.
Taylor, 57, won 11 LEGS in a row to secure a third-round clash with former world youth champion Keegan Brown on Thursday December 28.
The 16-time world champion enjoyed a 10-darter in the second set, hit a 119 finish on the Bull in the third and then secured the victory on double eight.
The retiring Taylor said: “I want to win this tournament. But I know I will have to improve.”
As for the wounded Pipe, he was serenaded off the stage with one final song, with the crowd singing: “You’re not coughing anymore.”
John Henderson made a big statement by gaining revenge over Daryl Gurney.
The heavyweight Scot produced one of the shocks of the tournament with a 4-2 victory over the world No.4 – the highest ranked player to depart so far.
The Highlander hit checkouts of 121 and 100 as he made amends for his World Grand Prix semi-final defeat to the Derry thrower in Dublin in October.
This is the first time in eight visits to the BDO and PDC world darts championships that he has reached the third round.
Henderson, 44, said: “That was nerve-wracking towards the end. I was shaking. I felt the heat up there. It’s a huge relief to get through that. It’s the first time I have gone on beyond Christmas. I can enjoy my turkey and get ready for the third round.”
Raymond van Barneveld produced an impressive performance as he beat Australian Kyle Anderson 4-1 in the second round.
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