STAR-darts player James Wade paid Little Tony's tyre shop in Barrow a visit as part of his tour across the UK.

Wade, one of the top five darts players in the world, has been doing the 501 challenge across the UK. He purchased a Ford Focus for £501 and travelled 501 miles from Scotland to the Bipolar UK office in London in three days. The purpose of the challenge is to raise money for the mental health charity. 

He arrived in London on September 29, but not before visiting Little Tony's tyre shop in Barrow. Little Tony's is a Falken Tyre supplier, and Wade is an ambassador for the company. 

He said: "Everyone was really nice and helpful. I don't think I have ever been to Barrow - it has been different. I have seen so many different places in three days and the driving was meant to be 501 miles but I think it was more like 1,500 miles, I don't know if they got their maths wrong." 

He also got to experience 'England's longest cul-de-sac' when he drove on the A590 to the M6: "It's a long, long road that is." 

Talking about the cause he is raising money for, he said: "It is about awareness the more people know about it they will learn about it and the people who have got it will know they have someone to look out for them." 

Little Tony's is a family business, and Charlotte Gibbons runs the office with her mum. She said: "We have one staff member that was quite a big fan of him and he was really chuffed."

However, neither the staff nor the fans that came to see Wade were able to embarrass him in a game: "No-one got anywhere close to him there were a couple of lads couldn't get anywhere near him." Wade himself said that he 'wasn't concerned' about any potential opponents that he met in his travels across the UK. 

One thing that struck Charlotte when Wade came to visit was how interested he is in cars.

"I didn't realise he used to be a mechanic," she said.

Wade worked in a workshop for eighteen months before becoming a professional player and enjoyed seeing the garages.