Darts legend "The Power" Phil Taylor
Stoke-on-Trent darts legend Phil Taylor revealed all in his recent autobiography, 'THE POWER'. It was a fascinating insight into the mix of theatre and skill that is professional darts... and included the human story of the game greatest players
The world of darts will probably never see another talent like Stoke-on-Trent's Phil Taylor.
Thirteen-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 13 world titles (as of January 2006).
But Taylor is equally adamant about the importance of Bristow's move to Stoke-on-Trent:
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.
The conviction cost him an MBE and almost led to the break-up of his marriage, and has left him distrustful of people:
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.
He is now the undisputed World champion with 13 titles to his credit however there were a few shocks along the way.
'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.
Co-author Sid Waddell is the voice of darts.
THE POWER is published by Collins Willow
last updated: 18/04/2008 at 11:21
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 nine world championships and many other major titles around the globe.
He is married with four children and still lives in Stoke-on-Trent.