Coral look back at Phil Taylor’s three most memorable World Finals
Friday evening marks the beginning of the end for 16-time World Darts Champion, Phil Taylor.
The Power will face Chris Dobey in the first game of his 29th and final World Darts Championship.
What a ride it’s been for the 57-year-old from the Potteries.
A career that has spanned over 25 years has seen Taylor break records and hearts to cement his status as the best player to have ever thrown an arrow.
Ahead of his final Alexandra Palace appearance, the Coral News Team look back at three of Taylor’s most memorable World Championship finals.
Phil Taylor 6-1 Eric Bristow (1990)
In a match that pitched the master against the apprentice, it was Taylor who came out on top.
Remarkably, The Power began the 1990 tournament as an unemployed engineer and 125/1 outsider to land the crown.
After becoming the only man to average over 100 throughout the entire tournament in his semi-final defeat of Cliff Lazarenko, Taylor was pitched up against Eric Bristow.
The Crafty Potter, as he was then known, tore the five-time champion apart to claim a 6-1 win and his maiden championship success.
Phil Taylor 7-0 John Part (2001)
During the earlier 2000s, Taylor was at his peak.
Never was that more evident than in the 2001 World Championship. Despite starting as the fourth-ranked player, The Power was completely dominant throughout.
He averaged over 100 in three of his five matches and dropped just one set en-route to a final match-up with John Part.
Part, competing in only his fourth PDC World Championship, was blown away. Taylor averaged 107.46 and dropped just three legs in recording a scintillating 7-0 victory over the Canadian in Purfleet.
It remains the most one of the most one-sided Darts finals to date.
Raymond van Barneveld 7-6 Phil Taylor (2007)
Taylor may have lost this dramatic tussle, but it’s impossible to ignore the part he played in one of darts’ most famous matches.
It was a game that had everything. The Power raced into a 3-0 sets lead before being pegged back to 3-2 by a resurgent van Barneveld.
From then on it was cat and mouse. Barney took the lead to go 6-5 up before Taylor pegged it back to 6-6 to create one of the most intense final sets in darts history in-front of raucous Essex crowd.
The final set would go right down to the wire. Barney and Taylor duelled to the death, taking the game to six sets and five legs apiece to force a sudden death decider.
In the last ever leg of World Championship darts thrown at the Circus Tavern, it was the Dutchman who prevailed.
Barneveld won the throw for the bull, which allowed him to start first. However, it was Taylor who opened the better, chalking up a 180 to claim an immediate advantage.
Barney responded with a 180 of his own before his opponent threw an uncharacteristic 40 to surrender his first-throw advantage.
From then on, Barneveld never looked back, eventually taking out double top to conclude the greatest match there has ever been.