Rob Cross on cloud nine after beating darts 'living legend' Phil Taylor in World Championship final

Rob Cross on cloud nine after beating darts 'living legend' Phil Taylor in World Championship final
Rob Cross is pictured with his trophy. Pictures: PA

New darts world champion Rob Cross has said he is on "cloud nine" after his life-changing victory over 16-time winner Phil Taylor in the William Hill World Championship final at Alexandra Palace last night.

Taylor was hoping to retire with a 17th world title, but 27-year-old Cross, who was not even born when Taylor won his first crown in 1990, had other ideas as he produced a stunning performance to claim a 7-2 victory.

He told Talksport: "I'm on cloud nine really. It's surreal, it's not settled in yet. It was tough to take everything in last night."

When asked if taking the title had changed his life, the former electrician - without a tour card this time last year - added: "Definitely. Darts, already, even before the World Championship had already changed my life.

"I couldn't have expected for the way my year's gone, but it has changed my life, without a doubt - especially last night and apparently I'm going to be a very busy boy."

Rob Cross in action.
Rob Cross in action.

Cross went into the contest full of confidence after seeing off world number one Michael van Gerwen in the last four and managed to maintain his focus throughout as Taylor bowed out of the sport.

Cross said: "Phil's walk on was emotional, I never really got dragged into that. I still stayed focused and knew what I had to do.

"With the crowd, I expected it to be a little bit more hostile towards me but where I managed to get in front in the game, I think I quietened them down and they never played as much of a part as what they did in the Van Gerwen game.

"To win that game (against Van Gerwen) was the confidence boost that I needed to get to the final and I think that set me up nicely."

Cross averaged a remarkable 107.67, hit 11 maximums and had a checkout percentage of 60 en route to collecting a cheque of £400,000.

He added: "Someone was saying yesterday, it was third highest they've had in the final in the world. You're never thinking about your averages when you're playing but I knew I was playing well yesterday. My finishing was very good and I was finishing amazingly at times."

Phil Taylor and Rob Cross diuring last night's match. Pictures: PA
Phil Taylor and Rob Cross diuring last night's match. Pictures: PA

Taylor was criticised by some for his demeanour in the final which included him allegedly flipping his middle finger after winning the fourth set, but Cross had nothing but admiration for the 57-year-old and for what he has done for the sport.

He added: "He's phenomenal and I'd like to wish him a very happy retirement and whatever he chooses to do, I hope he enjoys it.

"He's a great guy. I don't believe you'll ever see another sportsman dominate their sport as much as what he's done and to that he's the greatest.

"Without Phil, the money probably wouldn't be in it, the crowds that we play in front of. You've got to be grateful for that.

"You'll never get another living legend like that - I believe that."

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