Template - Date: Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor retires

We have to say thanks, goodbye to and salute Philip Douglas Taylor ‘The Power’ who is without doubt the greatest player of all time, in his incredible 30 year career he won 216 professional tournaments.  

Which include 83 major titles and a record 16 World Championships. He won eight consecutive World Championships from 1995 to 2002 and reached 14 consecutive finals from 1994 to 2007. He also won 16 World Matchplay’s, 11 World Grand Prix titles and 6 Premier Leagues.

“To have broadcast on all 16 of Phil Taylor’s World Championship successes – two for BBC Radio Sport, the rest for Sky Sports – makes me extremely proud”. “His is a truly remarkable record, one which labels him as one of the greatest sportsmen of all time” John Gwynne

He was awarded the PDC Player of the Year award six times and has twice been nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, in 2010 he finishing runner-up to A P McCoy. His list of tittles is endless.

He was the first player to hit two 9 dart finishes in one match, in the 2010 Premier League Darts final against James Wade. Overall he has hit a record 11 televised nine-dart finishes, 22 overall The Power announced his intentions to retire during the 2017 season, winding down his illustrious career.

“To remain at the top of your sport for almost 30 years and still produce the highest level is a remarkable feat, out of everything he has done in his career that must be one of his best achievements. He was truly the greatest” Alan ‘The Iceman’ Warriner   

The legendary 16-time World Champion ended the sport’s most decorated career at Alexandra Palace on New Years Day, although the 57-year-old was beaten 7-2 by brilliant emerging star Rob Cross denying him the icing on the cake.

Phil believes that the times is right for him to bow out of the sport, after his retirement following Monday’s William Hill World Darts Championship final.

“Phil Taylor, the player who rewrote the darting legend, before we had 3 & 5 times World Champions and then Phil wins 16, simply the finest player of all time, I have huge respect for his darting ability on the oche, a superb executioner of the art of darts” John Lowe 

What could have been the perfect swansong to his glittering career turned out to be a changing of the guard as the baton passed from Taylor to the former electrician now known as Voltage, who certainly provided some electric darts in the final.

“A player like Phil Taylor comes along once in a lifetime…. I am glad he came along in mine” Bobby ‘The King of Bling’ George.

However, after receiving a rapturous farewell from a capacity crowd at Alexandra Palace, Taylor reaffirmed that he believes his decision to retire has come at the right time.

“I had to enjoy it, it’s my last one, I’m never going to do this again,” he said. “The one thing I wanted to do was win a set, losing 7-0 would have crippled me.

“I tried my best, I really did, and I’m so pleased that that’s it for me because I just haven’t got the energy to beat him, or to beat the Michael van Gerwen’s or Adrian Lewis’ anymore.

Taylor says the overriding emotion for him on his retirement is more one of relief than sadness, and never thought he would even be able to make the World Championship final in his farewell event.

“Phil has been a great Champion, the right time to go was Blackpool, what a tournament he played there” Eric ‘The Crafty Cockney’ Bristow 

Taylor’s career has been honoured with the renaming of the BetVictor World Matchplay trophy to the “Phil Taylor Trophy” from 2018 onwards. Taylor is a 16 times winner at Blackpool and is of course the reigning champion

“I think it was a great decision,” said PDC Chairman Barry Hearn. “We owe Phil Taylor a huge amount within the sport of darts. “I don’t know how you repay 30 years of excellence which the great man has given us.

“He had a special affinity with Blackpool, as it showed this year when he came back and won it, and we thought what better way than to change the name of that trophy to “The Phil Taylor Trophy” so that we always remember what we owe Phil Taylor. “It’s mark of respect and one I think is thoroughly deserved.

“Phil Taylor, was simply the greatest. I am confident that no one will ever eclipse his astonishing record. It wasn’t always a a pleasure to play Phil but it was always a privilege” Bob Anderson 

I’ll always have a special part in me that remembers his contribution to where we are now globally in the sport of darts. “Everything about darts is going vertically upwards, it’s looking fantastic. The World Matchplay has always had a very special place in most darts players’ hearts, and I think The Phil Taylor Trophy will summarise that.”

Taylor’s achievements in darts have led to guest appearances on television. He also appeared in Justin Hawkins’ solo project British Whale’s music video for a cover of the Sparks song, “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the Both of Us”.

He made several appearances on the ITV game show Bullseye, hosted by comedian Jim Bowen and professional darts commentator Tony Green.

“The new players on the circuit must thank god he has retired, wish he had when I played” Jamie ‘Bravedart’ Harvey

He has appeared on several BBC television shows over the years. On 2 February 2009, he made a guest appearance in the long-running popular soap opera Coronation Street, playing the part of ‘Disco Dave’, the captain of a rival darts team to the Rovers Return.

Taylor was seen only briefly on screen and had no dialogue. On 22 January 2011 he appeared to present the award for Best Comedy Panel Show at the British Comedy Awards hosted by Jonathan Ross.

“Phil took the sport to a completely new level in terms of averages and his determination, passion and drive to win will never be matched by any sportsman, a true legend” Adrian ‘Jackpot’ Lewis

On 1st January 2012, Taylor appeared on OMG! Jedward’s Dream Factory, an Irish children’s reality television show which pop duo Jedward helped to fulfil the wishes of children who have previously written in to the show.

An episode featured a girl named Laura, a huge darts fan who wrote into the show wanting to meet and play darts with Taylor. It was recorded in 2011 when the World Grand Prix was in Dublin. On 12 March 2012, Taylor made a guest appearance on A Question of Sport.

“Phil Taylors dominance in the darts industry has been unlike any other sportsman in history. Dominance like Phil’s doesn’t just disappear, he might be retiring but we can assure you we haven’t seen the last of The Power” ‘Garry Plummer’ Target Darts

In May 2012, Taylor, together with the seven other players who competed in the Premier League, recorded a charity single with Chas Hodges and his band called ‘Got My Tickets for the Darts’ which was written by Chas.

“For me Phil is leaving the game at the top, exactly where he deserves after being an unbelievable servant of the game of Darts” Peter ‘One Dart’ Manley

It was released on 18 May, the night after the play-offs at the O2 in London, where it was premiered. Proceeds from the single will be donated to the Haven House Children’s Hospice. Taylor is the first darts player to win more than £1 million in prize money

 

TV Events

  • 16 World Championships
  • 16 World Matchplay’s
  • 11 World Grand Prix’s
  • 8 World Series Events
  • 6 Premier League’s
  • 6 Grand Slams
  • 5 Desert Classics
  • 5 UK Opens
  • 4 Championship Leagues
  • 4 European Championships
  • 4 PDC World Cups
  • 3 Players Championship Finals
  • 3 US Opens WSoD
  • The Masters
  • Champions League of Darts
  • Winmau World Masters
  • World Darts Trophy

Non TV Events:

  • 60 Other World Ranked Opens/Titles
  • 4 European Tours
  • 37 Players Championships
  • 21 UK Open Qualifiers

Awards:

  • PDC Player of the Year: 2006, 2008–2012
  • PDC Fans’ Player of the Year: 2007–2011
  • Best PDC Pro Tour Player/Floor Player: 2008, 2009
  • PDPA Players’ Player of the Year: 2008, 2009
  • Best Televised Performance of the Year: 2016
  • PDC Nine-Dart Club: x11 *Gold Pin Badge (TV) x11 Silver Pin Badge (Non-TV)
  • PDC Hall of Fame: 2011
  • BBC Sports Personality of the Year (Runner Up): 2010
2002 Achieves his 1st TV 9 Dart Finish (& first live TV 9 Darter in the UK) at World Matchplay
2004 Becomes first player to hit a second televised nine-dart finish
2005 Hits third televised nine-dart finish at the UK Open
2006 PDC Player of the Year
2007 Fourth televised nine-darter in IDL in the Netherlands
2007 Fifth televised nine-darter in 2007 UK Open at the Reebok Stadium, Bolton
2007 PDC Fans’ Player of the Year
2008 Sixth televised nine-darter in 2008 UK Open
2008 Fans’ Player of the Year, PDC Player of the Year and PDPA Player’s Player of the Year
2009 PDC Player of the Year
PDPA Players’ Player of the Year
Fans’ Player of the Year
Best PDC Pro Tour Player
2010 Inaugural inductee into Stoke-on-Trent Sporting Hall of Fame
2010 Hit two televised nine-dart finishes in Premier League Final
2010 Scored what was then a world record televised average of 118.66 against K Painter
2012 Hits ninth televised nine-darter in the Premier League against Kevin Painter.
2014 Hits tenth televised nine-darter in the World Matchplay against Michael Smith.
2015 Becomes the first man to hit a nine-darter in the World Series of darts in the Sydney Masters against Peter Wright. His 11th televised nine-darter.

Template - Date: Unibet Premier League 2018

Cross capped an incredible debut year as a professional by reaching the William Hill World Darts Championship final at Alexandra Palace, and headlines four new faces for the 2018 Unibet Premier League.

World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney, Champions League of Darts winner Mensur Suljovic and 2017 UK Open finalist Gerwyn Price will also come in to make their Prmeier League debuts. Michael van Gerwen will be bidding to win his fourth Premier League title as the defending champion when the 2018 season begins at Dublin’s 3Arena on Thursday February 1.

Former champions Gary Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld are joined by 2017 runner-up Peter Wright, while 2012 runner-up Simon Whitlock and former World Youth Champion Michael Smith return to the Premier League field this year. The ten players will face each other once over the first nine weeks, before the bottom two players are eliminated following Judgement Night at The SSE Arena in Belfast on Thursday March 29.

The remaining eight players then meet for a second time in the league before the top four players progress to compete in the Play-Offs at The O2 in London on Thursday May 17. The Unibet Premier League will also visit Germany for the first time in 2018, with the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin playing host to the event on Thursday March 22.

Rotterdam Ahoy will also host a sold-out league night for the third successive year, as well as traversing the UK and Ireland over a four-month period. The 2018 Unibet Premier League season will be the first since the tournament was introduced in 2005 which will not feature six-time champion Phil Taylor, who retired following the World Championship final.

Former champion James Wade, 2011 finalist Adrian Lewis, Jelle Klaasen and Kim Huybrechts also drop out of the Premier League after competing in 2017. Fixtures for the 2018 Unibet Premier League will be confirmed in due course.

2018 Unibet Premier League
Competitors (in alphabetical order)

Gary Anderson
Rob Cross
Daryl Gurney
Gerwyn Price
Michael Smith
Mensur Suljovic
Raymond van Barneveld
Michael van Gerwen
Simon Whitlock
Peter Wright

2018 Unibet Premier League Dates & Venues

Night One – February 1
3Arena Dublin
Tickets via www.ticketmaster.ie and 0818 719 300 (ROI) or 0844 847 2455 (UK & NI)

Night Two – February 8
Motorpoint Arena Cardiff
Tickets via www.motorpointarenacardiff.co.uk and 029 2022 4488

Night Three – February 15
Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
Tickets via www.eventim.co.uk and 0844 493 6666

Night Four – February 22
Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin
Tickets via PDC Europe and through Affilitix +49 361 644 189 760 and with email support via [email protected]

Night Five – March 1
Westpoint Arena, Exeter
Tickets via www.ticketzone.co.uk and 08444 99 99 55

Night Six – March 8
First Direct Arena, Leeds
Tickets via www.eventim.co.uk and 0844 248 1585

Night Seven – March 15
Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
Tickets via www.motorpointarenanottingham.com and 0843 373 3000

Night Eight – March 22
The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Tickets via www.thessehydro.com and 0844 395 4000

Night Nine – March 29
The SSE Arena, Belfast
Tickets via www.ssearenabelfast.com and 028 9073 9074
Tickets priced at £45/£39 and £25.50 including booking fee

Night Ten – April 5
Echo Arena, Liverpool
Tickets via www.echoarena.co.uk and 0844 8000 400

Night 11 – April 12
The FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield
Tickets via www.flydsaarena.co.uk and 0114 256 5656

Night 12 – April 19
Rotterdam Ahoy
Tickets via www.ticketmaster.nl and 0900 300 1250 (Netherlands, 60 cpm) or 0031 88 123 24 25 (Outside Netherlands)

Night 13 – April 26
The Manchester Arena
Tickets via www.eventim.co.uk and 0844 847 8000

Night 14 – May 3
Arena Birmingham
Tickets via www.theticketfactory.com and 0844 33 88 222

Night 15 – May 10
The BHGE Arena, Aberdeen
Tickets via www.ticketmaster.co.uk/AECC and 08444 77 9000

Play-Offs – May 17
The O2, London
Tickets via www.axs.com and 0844 856 0202

Template - Date: Rob Cross is World Champion

ROB CROSS produced the performance of his life to win the William Hill World Darts Championship with an incredible 7-2 win over Phil Taylor, as the legendary Stoke thrower ended his career in defeat at Alexandra Palace.

Taylor had been bidding to win a 17th World Championship title to end the sport’s most successful career in a blaze of glory as he prepares to move into retirement. However, Cross produced a display reminiscent of Taylor himself when he had broken through to win the 1990 World Championship with a 6-1 rout of mentor Eric Bristow as the 27-year-old completed his remarkable rise by claiming the biggest title in darts.

Cross watched last year’s World Championship final at home as he prepared to join the PDC circuit full-time, but lifted the Sid Waddell Trophy and secured the £400,000 first prize – double his career earnings to date – with an incredible display. The former electrician won the first three sets without reply, taking out 167 to win the second and 153 to claim the third as he took nine of the opening 11 legs.

Taylor hit back in the fourth with three successive legs, and then missed double 12 for a nine-darter in the opening leg of set five – only to see Cross take that leg and the set to restore his advantage. He then took the next two sets by a 3-1 scoreline to move 6-1 up as he maintained an average of 107, and though Taylor won the eighth without reply to claim his second set, Cross would not be denied as he won set nine with a 140 checkout to secure the title.

William Hill World Darts Championship

Monday January 1st 2018

The Final
(107.67) Rob Cross 7-2 Phil Taylor (102.26)
Best of 13 sets

Set-By-Set Information

Rob Cross 7-2 Phil Taylor

Pre-Match Bull:
Phil Taylor wins the bull but gives the throw to Rob Cross, who will throw first

First Set (1-0)
1-0 – Cross holds throw with a solid 84 outshot on a 14-dart leg to start the final. 1-1 – Taylor responds with a 14-darter of his own as Cross suffers two bounce outs! 2-1 – Cross hits TWO 180s in the leg as he takes it in just 12 darts. 3-1 – Taylor hits a 180 but misses two doubles allowing Cross to pinch a break for the set.

Second Set (2-0)
1-0 – A 180 for Cross helps him to a second successive break of the Taylor throw. 2-0 – Tidy 68 checkout from Cross doubles his advantage in the set. 2-1 – A second 180 of the match and tops finish gets Taylor on the board. 3-1 – Special darts from Cross as he takes out 167 on the Bull for the set.

Third Set (3-0) 
1-0 – No let up from Cross as he hits another maximum to kick off with a hold. 2-0 – A fifth 180 of the match and an 11-darter from Cross for a break. 3-0 – Astonishing darts from Cross as he takes out 153 for the set.

Fourth Set (3-1)
0-1 – Cross hits a 180 but Taylor takes out 151 – vintage Taylor but it’s all just to hold throw. 0-2 – Taylor backs up that amazing finish with a 14-dart break of throw. 0-3 – Third straight leg for Taylor as he cleans up 80 to get a set on the board.

Fifth Set (4-1)
1-0 – Incredible! Taylor just misses double 12 for a NINE-DARTER, but then loses the leg as Cross takes out 83. 2-0 – Cross now backs up that leg with an 11-darter to break. 3-0 – Just a standard 14-darter for Cross, with an eighth 180 thrown in.

Sixth Set (5-1)
1-0 – Relentless Cross hits a 180 and another 11 darter to start the set. 2-0 – Yet another maximum for Cross and this time a 13-dart leg. 2-1 – Taylor hits a 80 of his own and a 123 finish to hold throw. 3-1 – This time it’s 14 darts for Cross who takes out 84 for the set.

Seventh Set (6-1)
1-0 – Cross hasn’t missed D18 yet – he nails it again to take out 56 and a 13-darter. 1-1 – A 13-darter from Taylor with a 180 but yet again on his own throw. 2-1 – An 11th 180 for Cross helps him go ahead.

Eighth Set (6-2)
0-1 – Cross actually misses a couple of doubles for once – Taylor doesn’t. 0-2 – A 180 and a 12-darter for Taylor in a rare break of the Cross throw. 0-3 – Another two missed doubles from Cross as Taylor takes the set.

Ninth Set (7-2)
1-0 – 13 darts is all it takes for Cross to go ahead. 2-0 – Back-to-back 13 darters takes it despite a Taylor 180. 3-0 – He’s done it! An amazing finish as Cross takes out 140 to win it in style – incredible darts!