Phil Taylor

Philip Douglas Taylor is a former professional darts player from the United Kingdom. He was known as "The Power" because he dominated darts for more than two decades, winning 214 professional tournaments, including a record 85 major titles and 16 World Championships. Taylor was named one of the top ten British athletes of the last 35 years by the BBC in 2015. He is the world's wealthiest and most successful darts player.

Taylor won eight World Championships in a row from 1995 to 2002, 14 World Championship finals in a row from 1994 to 2007, and 21 World Championship finals in total, all of which are records. He was the world's number one for a total of thirteen years, including eight years in a row from 2006 to 2013. He was the first player to win 70 PDC Pro Tour events, which he held until Michael van Gerwen broke it in February 2019. Taylor has 11 broadcast nine-dart finishes, which is a new record (and 22 overall). In addition, he was the first individual to hit two nine-dart finishes in a single match.

Background and Early Life

On August 13, 1960, Taylor was born in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, to Doug and Liz Taylor. He dropped out of school when he was 16. After working in various occupations, including as a sheet metal worker, he spent the majority of his early working days producing ceramic toilet roll handles, for which he was paid £52 per week. He enjoyed playing darts and football as a kid, but he didn't take them seriously until 1986 when he moved into a terraced house in Burslem near Eric Bristow's bar, the Crafty Cockney.

His wife Yvonne gave him a set of darts for his birthday a few months later, and he began playing weekly, occasionally at Bristow's pub. By 1986, he had been named to the county team and was playing in the Super League. Later that year, Bristow began supporting him by lending him £10,000 to assist him in getting started as a professional darts player and supporting his family under the condition that he gives up his job in the ceramic industry.

Early Career

Taylor was sponsored by Bristow and accompanied him to Las Vegas, where he was defeated in the first round of the North American Open as he struggled in his debut year on tour.

In 1988, Taylor won his first victory in the Canadian Open, defeating then-World Champion Bob Anderson. He qualified for the World Championship for the first time in 1990 after reaching the quarterfinals of the British Open and the semi-finals of the Winmau World Masters in 1989. Despite some success in Open competitions, he entered the 1990 World Championship as an unseeded outsider with a seeding of 125–1. He advanced to the final by defeating number six seed Russell Stewart 3–1, Dennis Hickling 3–0, Ronnie Sharp 4–2 in the quarterfinals, and Cliff Lazarenko 5–0. Then he'd meet Eric Bristow, his mentor.

Bristow, who had been suffering from dartitis since 1986, had regained his world number one position and was the event's top seed. After sharing the first two sets, Taylor won his first global title by defeating Bristow 6–1 in sets. Taylor dominated the Open tournaments throughout the rest of 1990, winning titles in the Isle of Man, Finland, North America, and Denmark, as well as the British Pentathlon, British Masters, Europe Cup, and the Winmau World Masters, the game's second major tournament at the time.

Taylor's Global Championship defense in 1991 came to an end in the quarterfinals when he was defeated by Dennis Priestley, who went on to win his first world title.

In 1991, he won fewer championships, losing both the Danish Open and the World Masters finals to Rod Harrington. The following year, Taylor won the World Championship for the second time, defeating Mike Gregory 6–5 in a deciding leg in the final. Gregory has missed six darts in his attempt to win the title. Taylor has called the victory "one of my favorite victories in my career." Taylor took over as landlord of the Cricketers Arms in Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1993.

Personal Life

Taylor has four children with his ex-wife Yvonne: Lisa (born 1983), Chris (born 1984), Kelly (born 1989), and Natalie (born 1992). With the late Sky TV darts pundit Sid Waddell, he co-wrote an autobiography. He is a fan of Port Vale, his hometown football team. When the Stoke-on-Trent Hall of Fame opened in January 2011, he was also inducted. In the 2001 New Year's honors, Taylor was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). Taylor's father, Douglas, passed away in 1997 from colon cancer, and his mother, Elizabeth, passed away in 2015.

Records and honors

Taylor holds the world record for darts scoring. His three-darter average per match was the highest in the game's history.

Only Rob Cross has a winning record against him, having only met him in the World Championship final in 2018. Taylor has a 56.67 percent winning percentage versus Michael van Gerwen, the player who has defeated him the most times. Taylor is the first darts player to win a prize pool of more than £1 million.

Taylor was named 2006 PDC Player of the Year at the inaugural PDC Awards Dinner held at the Dorchester Hotel in London's Park Lane on January 9, 2007. In 2006, he was one of ten finalists for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, which Zara Phillips won.

Taylor was named 2007 Fans' Player of the Year in a poll conducted on the Planet Darts website. In January 2008, he was presented with the award at the PDC Awards Dinner. Taylor was inducted into the Stoke-on-Trent Sporting Hall of Fame for the first time on January 7, 2010, after winning his fifteenth World Championship.

Except for the Hall of Fame, awards are presented in January of the following year.

2006, 2008–2012 PDC Player of the Year

2007–2011 PDC Fans' Player of the Year

2008, 2009: Best PDC Pro Tour Player/Floor Player

2008, 2009 PDPA Players' Player of the Year

Year's Best Televised Performance: 2016

2006*, 2007+, 2008*+, 2009**, 2010*, 2011*+, 2012*, 2015*+ PDC Nine-Dart Club: 2006*, 2007+, 2008*+, 2009**, 2010*, 2011*+, 2012*, 2015*+ (*: Televised Gold Pin Badge, +: Non-Televised Silver Pin Badge)

2011 PDC Hall of Fame inductees

2010 runner-up for BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Last Modified: Oct 28, 2021

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