Phil Taylor is simply the best
Stoke-on-Trent darts legend Phil Taylor revealed all in his autobiography, The Power. We look back on the book, his life in the Potteries and in darts... and hear interviews with the great man in his own voice... And - add your comments!
See photos and video reports, hear interviews with the great man - and add your comments too. Just scroll down to the bottom of this page
Phil Taylor Facts
Phil Taylor was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1960.
He won his first world darts title in 1990 and has since amassed a further 14 world championships (as of 2008) and many other major titles around the globe.
He is married with four children and still lives in Stoke-on-Trent.
The world of darts will probably never see another talent like Stoke-on-Trent's Phil Taylor.
Many-times world champion, the king of the oche, and a darts phenomenon, "The Power" towers over the game like no other player in its history.
Taylor was brought up in the back streets of the Potteries, where his dad tried to turn him into a boxer.
In his early twenties, he was earning a modest living making ceramic toilet handles and had never really thrown a dart in anger!
Inspired by Bristow
Amazingly, Taylor only took up the game at the age of 25 when he befriended champion Eric Bristow at an exhibition match and became inspired to take up the game seriously.
Later, Bristow, the 'Crafty Cockney', who had moved to North Staffordshire by this time, became his mentor and friend and loaned him £10,000 to play the pro circuit.
Within two years of Bristow’s involvement Taylor had won the first of his world titles.
In the autobiography, co-written with Sid Waddell (darts commentator), Taylor describes how Eric coaxed, bullied, humiliated and often literally punched him into making it to the top.
But Taylor is equally adamant about the importance of Bristow's move to Stoke-on-Trent: "It was almost like Jesus relocating from the Holy Land to Milton Keynes."
He is candid about the booze culture of the game, while revisiting the memorable matches and recalling vivid stories featuring the likes of Bristow, Cliff Lazarenko (who once drank 20 cans of lager before a match), John Lowe and the legendary Jocky Wilson.
He also talks about the dispute between the professional players and the British Darts Organisation in 1993 which almost made him give up the game.
Taylor openly discusses the worst 18 months of his life, when he was accused and convicted of assaulting two female fans.
The conviction cost him an MBE and almost led to the break-up of his marriage, and has left him distrustful of people:
"I've had more unhappiness in my 12 years at the top of the darts tree than I did in all the years before I started climbing it."
But even during this dark period of his life Taylor played some of the best darts of his life and he went onto win his ninth and tenth world titles.
'The Power' provides a fascinating insight into the heady mix of theatre, machismo and skill that is professional darts.
Above all it's an inspirational story of an unlikely sporting hero with an extraordinary talent, the likes of which darts may never see again.
Over the years, local BBC has recorded many interviews and stories with Phil. Listen and watch by clicking on the links below....
last updated: 04/01/2010 at 08:32
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