Interview: Phil 'The Power' Taylor

19th December 2014

With the PDC World Championship currently taking place as a whole host of international talent stepping up to the oche once again, Sport4Bars spoke to 14-times World Champion Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor and found him in buoyant mood as he bids to reclaim the crown.

Any players apart from the obvious that you’re wary of, this time around? Who can you see making an impact?
Do you know, there are some cracking little players in there: Dave Chisnall’s one; young Keegan Brown pleasantly surprised me, recently; then the usual suspects such as Barney (Raymond van Barneveld) who might just pull the plug out in this one and play well; James Wade’s playing well, Gary Anderson too. I think it’ll be a great championship!

Obviously losing the title was bitterly disappointing but how would you sum up 2014 for you as a player in terms of the high points?
I changed sponsors last year so I changed all my equipment, so getting used to that took me a few months. But to win four or five majors isn’t bad! Obviously there’s room for improvement and we’ll work on that going into next year.

What would you say has been the highlight of your career so far?
It’s got to be the big one – the World Championships. But I’ve loved all of them, really, every tournament that you win’s got a certain thing about it; but actually I think that the World Matchplay in Blackpool’s been my favourite one as far as playing in tournament goes.

Who would you say has been the biggest influence on your success as the best player in the world, if anyone?
On the board it would have to be Eric Bristow (Taylor played darts at Bristow’s pub in Burslem, Staffordshire, where he lived, and Bristow sponsored Taylor early in his career) and off the board it would have to be my mother.

With darts continuing to enjoy a surge in popularity, do you think that the sport is still popular enough in pubs and clubs? Or are you worried that some venues going ‘gastro-pub’ for example are affecting the opportunity for people to play?
As a landlord myself for ten years, I suppose there’s always that danger but at the same time a lot of pub landlords are doing a lot to promote the sport. Also I’ve noticed that a lot of pubs are in fact going back to the more traditional, community type of venue and have a dart board. I think it all balances out – if one alters then one goes back the other way.

Apart from yourself of course, do you have any predictions for players to watch out for in 2015?Obviously (current PDC World Champion) Michael van Gerwen plus players like Gary Anderson, Adrian Lewis and Barney – he’s always there or thereabouts - they’re all not daft when the World Championship comes about. But in other players, there’s Terry Jenkins and James Wade playing well so they could also be ones to watch next year.

Can you tell us about any memorable moments in your career away from the oche: i.e. on TV, guest appearances etc.
I’ve had loads of things, really: I’ve done Mr and Mrs, Family Fortunes, Jonathan Ross and lots of TV shows over the years, all of which are memorable in different ways.

How did your friendship with Robbie Williams come about?
I’ve known Robbie since he was a little kid and his dad, Pete Williams is like my second father. We used to live about 100 yards from each other so I’ve known him most of my life.

Finally, what would you say to any youngsters wanting to get into the game as professionals?
The two most important things are firstly to make sure you’ve got all the right equipment and secondly it’s dedication. It can years and years unfortunately but you have to always be dedicated if you want to stay at the top. It’s like any job – the more you do, the better you get.

The PDC World Darts Championship is being broadcast exclusively live on Sky Sports Darts HD

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