Is the Power going out Tired Taylor hints he could be ready to take his final bow on the oche
22:30 GMT, 31 December 2012
They may have been the words of a tired and cold-ridden man, but Phil Taylor threatened that he could be playing the final match of a darts career without equal at Alexandra Palace.
The Power, who takes on Holland’s new wonderkid Michael van Gerwen in the final of the Ladbrokes.com PDC World Championship, was disgusted by his behaviour after semi-final victory over Raymond van Barneveld on Sunday night.
An emotional Taylor mistook a Van Barneveld handshake for a provocative gesture and acted aggressively towards his friend and long-time rival in a sour finale to a thrilling match.
Shout bout: Phil Taylor and Raymond Van Barneveld clash on Sunday
Ashamed: Taylor has apologised for his behaviour
Disagreement: Taylor and Van Barneveld exchanged words as they left the stage
Taylor said: ‘I’m ashamed of myself and I feel terrible. I’ve texted Raymond and spoken to him and there is nothing else I can do, only apologise for it. It will never happen again.
‘I don’t care about darts at the minute. I know I’m in the final but I don’t feel excited or chuffed about it. I feel very down. I could just walk away tomorrow night and retire — go out on top. I’m a bit disillusioned about everything. Obviously I’m not feeling very well and I need a break.
‘To put the record straight, Raymond is a very strong lad and when he shook my hand and pulled me he hurt me a little bit. That was all it was and I reacted disgracefully.
Whatever the PDC decide, chuck the book at me, they can do whatever they want. I’m ashamed because I really like Raymond. It’s upset me.’
Is this the end Taylor was pushed all the way by Van Barneveld and says he needs a break
Winning feeling: Taylor shows his emotion after winning the semi-final
Whether or not Taylor is serious about retirement, he is not underestimating the task facing him if he is to claim a 16th world title tonight. Van Gerwen has been the star of this World Championship, bullying his opponents into submission with a scoring ability only Taylor has ever attained on a consistent basis.
Taylor added: ‘I’ve not seen a dart player like Michael in all my career. Only myself really. I think he’s the next one. His scoring, passion, his will to win, his aggression, Michael’s got the full package.
‘He’s phenomenal. He’s different to all the players I’ve seen and I’ve seen nearly four generations of players. Pretender to my crown He’s no pretender. For me to beat him is going to take a lot of concentration and a lot of effort. I can do it but it’s going to take a lot. I had a 109 average and lost to him the other week, but I can get him.’
The man of the moment: Michael van Gerwen is a player in form
Champion in waiting Van Gerwen beat two time champion Adrian Lewis and James Wade on the way to the final
Van Gerwen was just nine months old when Taylor claimed his first world title in 1990. Remarkably, he didn’t pick up a set of darts until he was 13, playing with friends at their homes in Boxtel, a small town near Eindhoven in southern Holland.
He turned professional four years later in 2006, recording a televised nine-dart finish and winning the World Masters at the age of 17. He has never been a respecter of reputations.
Van Gerwen said: ‘I don’t like watching darts. Even now, most of the times I don’t bother. I played Phil for the first time when I was 17. I knew nothing about him before that. It would be great if I could become world champion 10 years after playing for the first time.’