Phil Taylor wins 12th World Matchplay title
Phil Taylor won his 12th World Matchplay title with an 18-8 victory over James Wade at the Winter Gardens.
Taylor, 50, claimed a fourth successive World Matchplay victory with an awesome display of darts.
The 15-time world champion said: "I'm overjoyed to win this. I didn't think I'd win anything this year so to keep this title is brilliant.
"Eric Bristow's been texting me for the past few weeks when I've been losing. He's always behind me."
Taylor, who previously lost his Premier League and UK Open titles, gave an exhibition of top quality darts that thrilled the 2,000 capacity crowd at the Winter Gardens.
Wade, the 2007 Matchplay champion, opened the match strongly, winning the first leg.
After Taylor checked out a brilliant 135 in the second leg, the left-hander came back to win the third in 11 darts for a 2-1 lead.
However, he missed one dart to win in both of the next two legs as Taylor edged 3-2 up.
The reigning champion then raced into a 12-3 lead, before a double 12 put him 10 legs clear.
Wade pulled the score back to 15-8. However, that would be his final winning leg as Taylor hit a brace of double top checkouts to move 17-8 up before posting a 74 finish to claim the title on double 16.
Taylor had been priced at 7/4 to take the title, having found himself odds-on for the majority of events in recent years.
"I doubt I'll be that price again in a hurry," Taylor joked. "But it's not about trying to prove anybody else wrong. It's about trying to prove myself right, trying to believe in myself and still win major tournaments.
"I know I'm still capable and I showed that tonight."