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We've got The Power - quickfire questions with Phil Taylor
The Betway Premier League Darts Play-Offs is coming to The O2 on 18 May. We caught up with the greatest player ever, Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, as he attempts to qualify for the final time before his retirement.
Sum up the Premier League Darts Play Offs experience
It’s fantastic! I’ve had some great nights at The O2 over the years. It’s a brilliant venue and probably the biggest we play in. It’s amazing when you look out from the stage and see such a huge crowd. This year, it would be even more special if I could get there, as it’s my last Premier League before I retire.
How did you start playing darts?
I started in the local leagues. Eric Bristow sponsored me in the early days, but he wanted to make sure I paid him back out of my prize money, eventually!
How did you get so good at it?
There was a lot of hard work, and Eric drilled so much into me about being a winner. I’d ring him from a tournament and tell him I was into the semi-final or a final, and he’d say ‘Ring me back when you’ve won it’ and put the phone down.
If you could master another sport, what would it be and why?
Probably snooker, or golf. I love watching snooker and I try to play when I can.
Which is harder, a nine-dart finish or a 147 break in snooker?
That’s tough – I’d say the nine-dart finish but I think Ronnie O’Sullivan would say the 147! Both are special. In darts, although it’s only nine throws – as opposed to 36 shots in snooker – you have to consider things like how the darts are lying. A deflection means you might have to switch beds, which affects the combination of your other darts.
How did you get your nickname, The Power?
I used to be called the Crafty Potter, but in the ‘90s it was suggested that I change it. Sky Sports’ production manager Peter Judge was backstage, knocked over some CDs, and trod on The Power by Snap. The rest is history.
What’s your favourite stage name in darts?
I always have a chuckle at one of the other lads from Stoke, Mark Frost. His nickname is ‘Frosty The Throw Man’ – honest.
What’s your greatest darts memory?
I’m lucky to have had so many great moments. Winning my first world championship by beating Eric in the final. My 16th world title, as that was the first time we played for the Sid Waddell Trophy and there was a lot of emotion. Also the first nine-darter I had on TV, and hitting two nine-darters in the 2010 Premier League final.
What tech could you not live without?
My car, as I spend so much time on the road. And I’ve got a new soft-tip darts machine at home. It’s got cameras and is connected to the internet, so you can log in and play people all over the world. It’s amazing.
How about as a kid?
The TV – and we had that wired through to next door because we didn’t have electricity.
Who’s the most famous person in your phone?
What’s the first thing you do when you pick up your phone?
Usually checking the messages – it might be the kids or grandkids asking something, or my assistant Bob with something darts-related.
Which emoji best sums you up?
Probably the smiley face, but they don’t do one with grey hair yet, do they?
Would you rather be a tiny rhino or a giant hamster?
Ooh that’s a good question – a giant hamster. That’s not a bad nickname either, is it?
You can still grab tickets to see Phil throw down for his final Betway Premier League Darts Play Offs – just click HERE.