‘The Power’ not ready to pull the plug

Phil Taylor has no plans to retire from darts after beating Michael van Gerwen in dramatic fashion to clinch his 16th world title on Tuesday.

‘The Power’ not ready to pull the plug

The 52-year-old recovered from 2-0 and 4-2 down against the Dutchman to claim the inaugural Sid Waddell trophy in the final of Ladbrokes World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace.

Taylor’s high-quality 7-4 victory brought to a close a tournament that saw him both struggle with illness and become involved in ugly spat at the oche.

An ill-advised altercation with Raymond van Barneveld after their semi-final encounter was the trigger for Taylor to admit he was seriously considering his future in the sport.

But yesterday he revealed that rest rather than retirement was now his aim, and admitted his career could continue beyond the age of 55.

“I’m not going to walk away. I’m going to have a little break, obviously. I need a bit of a rest now,” he said.

“I’m going to do a promotion in Dubai this month, so I’m going to take that as a holiday. I’m going to relax and get ready for the Premier League next.

“I’ve been written off more times than Rocky Balboa I think. I’ve had more comebacks than Sylvester Stallone anyway.

“I’m not going to give in – I’m going to keep going and show them I’m still dedicated.”

Taylor, who has frequently said he might retire at 55, admits the rush from Tuesday night’s comeback could sway him to change his mind.

“That was my plan in life, even when I was working in a factory,” he said. “I’m going to see how I feel over the next two or three years – if I feel okay at 55 then I will carry on.”

There was an emotional pull for Taylor, too, as his rally to beat 23-year-old Van Gerwen saw him become the first recipient of a new trophy named after late darts commentator Sid Waddell, a close personal friend of the world champion.

“It’s extra special,” Taylor added. “You mention Sid’s name and everyone smiles. That’s the memories of Sid.

“He was probably my best friend in darts, along with Eric Bristow. Sid was exceptional. I do miss him dearly. I’m the proudest man in the world at the moment,” said Taylor, who received a winner’s cheque for £200,000.

Former world champion Bristow, who dominated darts in the 1980s, was there to witness the next stage of the Englishman’s development into the sport’s greatest player.

Having helped Taylor financially in the early stages of his career, Bristow predicted Tuesday’s victory will not be last world title his friend takes, even if he does not remain dominant for years to come.

“He won’t get to 20 but there most likely will be another one in him,” Bristow said yesterday.

“He is getting on a bit now. And Michael van Gerwen is going to win a few, he’s a brilliant darts player, he’s the best of the rest of the bunch.

“It was great for darts. I think we have seen the newcomer coming through, who’s going to take over from Phil, but not yet.”

Bristow puts Taylor’s success down to intense practice.

“He’s just superb, he’s very dedicated.

“He puts a lot of time into his sport,” Bristow said.

“He plays four, five, six hours a day, even now, 30 years on.

The Phil Taylor factfile:

1960 - August 13: Born Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

1988 -Wins first title at the Canadian Open. The win comes after being given £10,000 sponsorship from darts legend Eric Bristow on the condition Taylor gives up his job to concentrate on darts full time.

1990 - Wins first BDO World Championship title, beating his mentor and top seed Bristow 6-1 in the final to claim the title at odds of 125/1.

1992 -Wins second BDO world title.

1994 -After a group of players break away from the BDO, Taylor loses to Dennis Priestley in the first final of the PDC World Championship.

1995 - Wins his first PDC world crown, beating Rod Harrington 6-2. Goes on to win eight consecutive PDC crowns. Also wins first of 13 World Matchplay titles.

1998 - Wins first of 10 World Grand Prix titles.

1999 - Beats BDO world champion Raymond van Barneveld 21 legs to 10 in a one-hour challenge match.

2000 - Awarded MBE.

2002 - Has MBE revoked after being found guilty of sexual assault.

August 1 -Claims first televised nine-dart finish against Chris Mason in World Matchplay.

2003 - Run of world title victories is ended as John Part beats him 7-6 in the final.

2004 - Regains PDC world title with 7-6 win over Kevin Painter. Goes on to win 2005 and 2006 titles.

2005 - Wins inaugural Premier League Darts title.

2007 - Taylor loses 7-6 to Van Barneveld in PDC World Championship final. Taylor later describes it as the best final he has ever played in.

2008 - Fails to reach PDC final for first time, losing 5-4 to Wayne Mardle in quarter-finals.

2009 - Gains revenge over Van Barneveld with 7-1 win to reclaim PDC crown.

2010 - January: Wins 13th PDC world crown with 7-3 win over Simon Whitlock.

May 24: Becomes first player to hit two nine-dart finishes in one game, against James Wade in the Premier League.

December: Runner-up in BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

2011 -Inducted into PDC Hall of Fame.

2013 - Beats Michael van Gerwen 7-4 to make it 14 PDC world championships and 16 titles overall.

Picture: Phil Taylor with the World Darts Championship trophy. Picture: PA

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