More of dartsworld.com ‘s look at some of the players of the last decade continues with “The Power”:
Phil Taylor managed to dominate the majority of the decade despite it being his last as a competitive professional. Only MVG claimed more World Titles through the decade whilst Phil claimed multiple World Matchplay(6) crowns in addition to his two World Championships which brought his total to an untouchable sixteen.
His contribution to the raising of darts general profile is often underappreciated. Taylor was nominated for Sports Personality of the Year and interviewed on mainstream chat shows during peak time. His broadening of the game is an undervalued feature of his remarkable reign.
Despite the huge increase in tournaments, and prize money, available toward the end of the decade “The Power” was only out earned by Micheal. It’s doubtful this would be the case if sponsorship and exhibition income were included.
Taylor’s complete transformation of equipment, from a longer straight dart, to a bomb or John Lowe style dart opened up new avenues for manufacturers. Unicorn exploited this superbly and a mini revolution in pricing, marketing and player recruitment has followed. His switch to Target also started a high profile ‘transfer window’ type market that has proved a boon for players and their earning capacity.
Taylor even managed to hand over the torch in style. His final season included a superb TV triumph, his victory at the World Matchplay included a demolition of MVG that turned back the clock at least five years. His valedictory World Championship in 2017/18 saw him reach a remarkable 21st final. His handing of the torch, to the fairytale debutante Rob Cross, could not have been scripted better for the future of the game.
“The Power”‘s contribution to the darting decade, and the game overall, is unquestionable. His efforts extended much more than can be included in this snapshot. It is quite remarkable that a case can be made for him being the best, and most significant, player in three consecutive decades.
Who knows he may even have a role to play in the 2020’s?