'The Power' is back. King of the oche and a legend in the game, Phil Taylor is largely responsible for taking darts into the 21st century. Recently crowned world champion for an unprecedented eleventh time, Taylor is a complete one-off -- the Tiger Woods of his sport -- and the most phenomenal player ever to throw a dart. Brought up in the back streets of the Potteries, where his Dad tried to turn him into a boxer, Taylor's first job saw him earning GBP75 a week in a factory making ceramic toilet handles -- and by the age of 25 he had hardly thrown a dart in anger. Then he attended an Eric Bristow darts exhibition, and the 'Crafty Cockney' became his mentor and friend and loaned him GBP10,000 to play the pro circuit. Within five years Taylor had won the first of his eleven world titles ...In his book, Taylor describes how Bristow coaxed, bullied, humiliated and often literally punched him into making it as a pro. He is candid about the booze culture of the game, while revisiting the memorable matches and recalling vivid stories featuring the likes of Bristow, Cliff Lazarenko (who once had 20 cans of lager before a match), John Lowe and the legendary Jocky Wilson. A dispute between the professional players and the British Darts Organisation in 1992 almost led to a dispirited Taylor giving up the game for good. And he retraces the worst six months of his life, during which time he was convicted of sexually assaulting two female fans and had his MBE rescinded. The pain for his family was hard to bear. This is a story of a man having to come to terms with unparalleled success in his professional life after a career setback that would have destroyed many others; a unique sportsman whose steely-eyed determination won him an unprecedented eleventh world title in 2004 in what many observers described as the best professional darts match in living memory.
Published: May 2004