Phil Taylor admits he does not miss competing in major tournaments and has ruled out a return to professional darts…
Taylor salutes the Ally Pally crowd (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Phil Taylor admits he does not miss competing in major tournaments and has ruled out a return to professional darts in the near future.
The 16-time World Champion packed away his arrows following January’s World Championship final after more than three decades at the top and has since taken the exhibition circuit by storm.
His last competitive match saw him suffer a seven sets to two defeat to Rob Cross at Alexandra Palace as he fell short of a fairy-tale 17th world crown before departing the stage to the backdrop of Coldplay with the fitting lyric: “I used to rule the world.”
Taylor, 57, has since embarked on a three-week tour of Australia and continues to entertain fans across the UK and Europe, but insists he has no regrets about calling time on his illustrious career.
“I don’t miss it at all,” said Taylor, speaking exclusively to Live Darts. “I did it for so many years and I had to be so dedicated – I’m not dedicated now.
“I haven’t retired yet, I’m still working but I’m not under the pressure, I can enjoy it more now.
“I don’t get up in the morning and do what I used to do.
Taylor stayed until the early hours meeting fans at JBD event at Potters Resort last Sunday
“I’m chilled out now, I practice maybe ten minutes a week.
“I could do with doing a little bit more but it’s very difficult to be dedicated year in, year out.
“It’s hard work and you have to dedicate your life to it, otherwise you can’t compete.
“I’m having at least four or five days a week off now and it’s lovely.
“I’ve got a bike which I do 20 or 30 miles a week on and it’s great.”
This year’s Unibet Premier League was the first staging without Taylor in the line-up and the Stoke great admits he has detached himself from following the circuit closely.
He added: “I’ll look at the scores now and again but I don’t really sit and watch darts to be honest.
“I saw Gary [Anderson] a few times taking the mickey and saying how tired he was!
“I do still travel but I’ve not got to be here, there and everywhere at a certain time, I can just get there as and when I want to.
Taylor, however, was watching the Premier League night in Liverpool from his home and recalls the devastating moment he received the news that his former mentor and close friend Eric Bristow had passed away.
“I was in bed and the Premier League was on and I could hear somebody singing ‘there’s only one Eric Bristow’ and I’m thinking: ‘what’s he done?’
“I hadn’t had my phone on so then my house phone was ringing and I knew then something was wrong so I went down, answered and I got the news then.
“I do miss him, we used to text each other, we didn’t see each other that often but he’d give me a telling off now and again.
“We were like brothers, we didn’t always get on, we had our fall-outs like anybody does.
“Eric would fall out with himself, never mind me but I loved him.
“I’m 58 this year and I’ve just lost one of my friends and I don’t want to go down that path, I want to start looking after myself now and enjoy what I’ve got left of my life.”
Taylor also hinted at a number of exciting upcoming projects, including commentary for Australian television and the possibility of mentoring young players, but at least for the time being, the lure of a return to the big stage is far from at the top of his agenda.
You can watch the full interview below…