Anyone who has ever come into contact with darts has sooner or later been confronted with the name Phil Taylor. Phil Taylor is the reason why darts has developed in a way that only a few people in Germany ever thought possible. That’s why we would like to introduce you to Phil “The Power” Taylor in more detail. Even if the game has changed to some extent and, above all, improved: Phil Taylor remains the figurehead of “his” sport – probably forever.
The beginnings of Phil “The Power” Taylor
The most successful darts player of all time was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1960. Taylor had his first contact with a few darts in a local bar. Taylor took the darts and started throwing - until Eric Bristow, five-time world champion, finally spotted him. In the 1980s, Bristow, along with John Lowe, was considered the most successful darts player of his time. Above all, he seemed convinced of Taylor's abilities. Bristow sponsored his new protégé with a whopping £10,000. The condition was that Taylor would pay him back with the prize money he had earned. Thanks to the financial injection, Taylor trained more and took part in significantly more tournaments.
The first participation in a world championship
In 1990, after winning the Canadian Open, Phil Taylor was allowed to take part in a BDO (British Darts Organization) world championship for the first time. As an outsider, Taylor promptly reached the final and impressively beat his foster father Eric Bristow 6:1 in sets. From then on, Taylor took over the reign of darts and lost only one World Cup final from 1995 to 2006, 6:7 against John Part in 2003. In the final of the 2007 World Cup, Phil Taylor lost to his arch-rival Raymond in what is probably still the best match of all time van Barneveld in the sudden death leg. With this World Cup , Phil Taylor's long dominance finally ended. Even though The Power was still able to win numerous titles in the following years. Due to emerging competition, he was no longer able to consolidate his supremacy in the long term.
A number of titles make it unique
Phil Taylor is the reason why darts has developed in a way that only a few people in Germany ever thought possible.
Phil Taylor's CV reads better than that of any other professional athlete. No individual athlete in the world has done so much for his sport. Phil Taylor won a whopping 16 world championships in his career. There are also 16 victories in his favorite tournament, the World Matchplay . He has 11 wins at the World Grand Prix, while Taylor has also won the Premier League six times. There are also a number of other titles that would probably stretch this part of the text a bit. However, if you would like to see the official PDC tournaments live on TV today, it is worth trying out the free trial month at DAZN !
Phil Taylor and the 9-darter
The 9-darter is considered the perfect game to finish a leg with 501 points in double-out mode as quickly as possible. The statistics show how difficult this is. To date, Phil Taylor is by far the player who has achieved this feat most often in front of television cameras. If you ask the professional players, you will always hear that it is less of a problem to play such a leg in training or without television cameras. But in front of running TV cameras and the immense pressure from the audience, the undertaking becomes a rarity.
Phil Taylor played his first televised perfect leg in 2002 against Chris Mason. It was only the fourth nine-darter ever broadcast. To date, Taylor has played a whopping eleven 9-darters in front of television cameras - no other player has achieved so many. Even today, a match from 2010 is still particularly fond in the memories of spectators and dart fans. Phil Taylor met James Wade in the final of the Premier League. Taylor achieved, which is still unique to this day, two 9-darters in one game in front of running television cameras. Also crazy: Taylor played seven perfect darts again in this match and only narrowly missed his third 9-darter.
It is still possible to meet him today – for example at an exhibition
Even though Phil Taylor has ended his active career as a professional darts player, it is still possible to see him live in action. All well-known professional players can be booked for so-called “exhibitions” . At an exhibition it is basically possible for everyone to play a round against the darts legend. However, it should be said that only very few of us have the change to book a Phil Taylor for such an exhibition.
At an exhibition, the professionals often show small tricks or play unusual ways to end a leg. So it's more of a show competition than a serious tournament. Ultimately, the setting of such an exhibition does not matter. While large event organizers use this to fill entire halls, it is also possible to book players more privately. Depending on which player you want to book, between a few hundred or, to stick with Phil Taylor, a few thousand euros can quickly be lost.
The Phil Taylor brand and his darts
As already mentioned, Phil Taylor doesn't just live from tournament victories. Taylor also knew how to market himself through good management. For a long time, Taylor was the figurehead of the Unicorn company , while towards the end of his career he moved to the supplier Target. But Phil Taylor was most successful with his famous “Phase 5” arrows from Unicorn. Even today, these still have a hefty price of between 80 and 150 euros, depending on the version. At the end of his career, Taylor also brought a limited version of his darts onto the market - the so-called Legacy Darts, which were only produced and sold in an edition of 5,000 pieces. Taylor played these darts at his last World Championship in 2018. Each model was numbered and hand-signed by Taylor. These darts are traded on the black market for between 400 and 1000 euros.
Phil Taylor's path to becoming a darts millionaire
Phil Taylor ultimately became a darts millionaire not only through the prize money he earned, but also through his marketing of products and many exhibitions for which he is still booked today. Even though Michael van Gerwen, for example, has already broken many of Taylor's records, Phil Taylor remains the real number one for darts fans - ultimately also because of his 16 world championship titles. MvG is still missing 13 successes at a World Cup.