It is the last year that we will see darts legend Phil Taylor and it will be sad to see him leave. He is the best there has ever been and has won everything multiple times over. With 16 World Championship Dart titles to his name, it is hard to see anyone ever surpass that level. The now world number six has made a statement saying the 2018 Championships will be his last and will finally retire from the sport.
Taylor as been a professional dart player since 1986. During that time he has won 11 Grand Prix, 15 World Matchplay along with 6 Grand Slam events. In total his tally for titles is over third figures and dominated the sport for such a long period of time.
Taylor was the first even darts player to have a nine-dart finish televised. No other player comes close to matching the achievements of the living legend. Like all professional sports players age eventually catches up with us all and at 56 it is remarkable that he is still able to compete with the best. Granted he is not the force he once was but he has the talent to beat anyone and will hope he can add to his impressive trophy cabinet in his last year.
When speaking with the media about the decision to retire Taylor said it had taken 18 months before he had fully made up his mind. The growling darts season it hard on family life and a lot of the time the darting legend had to be away playing in small tournaments for a whole weekend just to qualify. It has taken a lot out of GOAT and the schedule has finally become too much for him to take any more. It has zapped his motivation for the sport and if you are not fully committed when playing at the top of the game, you days are over.
No one has done more that Taylor to help the sport grow and he will be known as one of the pioneers. It has grown phenomenally during his time at the top and is now watched by millions on live TV in front of packed crowds. The popularity of Taylor is one of the main reasons why it has become mainstream and it is thanks to him why things have never looked so good.
One of the main reasons for Taylor's retirement is the format of the events. A lot of the qualifiers take part in small sports halls filled with chairs and tables. Most players arrive at 9 am and do not get to leave until 8 pm. It is a long hard weekend which takes its toll after doing it for years none stop. Having to sit on seats all day that is not designed for people sitting on them for long periods of time can have a damaging effect on the back. With age, the joints get stiffer and it becomes a problem when having to sit for long periods at a time.
Taylor will receive a raucous reception at all the events and the fans will want to give him the send-off he deserves. Taylor said he is just going to go out there and enjoy saying a goodbye along with thanking you to everyone that has supported him through the years. If you fancy putting on a punt on the power to win a tournament in his last year make sure you use a £200 promotion for UK customers. You will get extra cash and win big amounts if the legendary darts player managed to get a final win under his belt before he leaves the sport for good.
|World Grand Prix||11|
|Grand Slam of Darts||6|
|World Darts Trophy||1|