Daddy Cool! How baby Lexie Rose helped Chisnall bring down The Power
For most sportsmen, being left holding the baby means precious family bonding time but no opportunity to practise their craft.
Not so for Dave Chisnall, who simply rested four-month-old daughter Lexie Rose on the left forearm which bears her tattoo and carried on throwing.
That unique preparation for the Ladbrokes PDC World Championship proved to be a masterstroke of invention on Tuesday night when Chisnall shook the darts world to its core with a stunning 4-1 second-round defeat of Phil Taylor.
Who”s the daddy Dave Chisnall celebrates his win over Phil Taylor
Lexie Rose is too young to appreciate her part in a result which ended an era of unprecedented sporting domination — Taylor had reached at least the quarter-finals in every one of the PDC’s previous 18 world championships, winning 13. But there was no place the baby wanted to be other than in her father’s arms.
Chisnall said: ‘My girlfriend Michaela looks after our little girl a lot of the time but I actually played a couple of games with my mate while I was holding the baby. I beat him 7-1. She hates being sat down, but if you pick her up she won’t move, she just stays happy. It’s when you put her down she’ll start crying.’
Originally from St Helens, Chisnall flew down from his new home in Morecambe for Tuesday’s game against Taylor, leaving girlfriend and daughter behind.
Whether the pair make the trek to the Alexandra Palace will depend on how far the 31-year-old progresses in his first-ever PDC World Championship. He reached the rival BDO world final two years ago when he was still working in a darts shop in St Helens.
Plenty to ponder: Taylor will go back to the drawing board after his defeat
Having earned 62,000 in his first season on the PDC Tour after gaining his Tour card via its qualifying school last January — he is guaranteed at least 15,000 irrespective of the result of his third round match against Andy Hamilton on Thursday— the sport has now become his profession.
Taylor will be 52 next year and despite bestriding his sport in the past two decades, winning 15 world titles in total (two before darts split into rival factions) he has won only one of the last five world championships.
He remains the dominant force in darts and its marquee name as the only player who can cross into the sporting mainstream. Yet among the promises to give himself a lifestyle make-over in the aftermath of defeat by Chisnall, one revealing phrase stood out. ‘It’s not such a big thing for me any more,’ he said. ‘I’m not fit enough. I’m getting older and things are taking their toll on me.
‘I need to change my lifestyle, my diet, my fitness. For 44 years I have yo-yoed in weight and done things wrongly. I am going to do it right now. But we’ll see how it goes. I want to enjoy the rest of my life now.’
The next 12 months will see Taylor shadowed by a television documentary crew and a year in his life usually means lots of titles.
He said: ‘I want to win a 16th world title. I will do everything to make sure I am properly prepared for next year’s World Championships.’
Simon Whitlock, meanwhile, claimed a place in the last 16 with a 4-1 win over Steve Beaton.
He will meet Michael van Gerwen, a 4-1 winner over Mervyn King.