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Sunday, January 3, 1999 Published at 23:11 GMT


Taylor in seventh heaven

Phil Taylor is a former protegé of the legendary Eric Bristow

Phil Taylor, arguably the greatest darts player of all time, has won his seventh world title.

Taylor, a former protegé of the legendary Eric Bristow, carried off the Skol PDC Championship after beating Peter 'One Dart' Manley 6-2 in the final at the Circus Tavern in Purfleet, Essex.

Manley, a newsagent from North Cheam, Surrey, missed too many doubles to trouble a player of Taylor's calibre.

[ image: Peter Manley:
Peter Manley: "I'll be back"
Afterwards Taylor joked: "He calls himself One Dart, but tonight he was Six Dart Manley."

Taylor, from Stoke-on-Trent, said: "One of my greatest targets was to beat snooker player Stephen Hendry's six world titles and now I've got seven. It's just great."

Dominated the 1990s

Taylor's first two world titles came at the Embassy Championship at Frimley Green in 1990 and 1992 and he has now won the Skol title five years running.

Unfortunately his achievements have been undermined by the split in world darts.

The sport splintered in 1995 with the Professional Darts Championship - backed by big names such as Bristow, John Lowe and Dennis Priestley - breaking away from the World Darts Council, which still runs the Embassy Championship.

Taylor said: "I'll be back next year, going for number eight. It was a dream to win my first world title and it's a dream to win my seventh."

Missed out on £100,000

The 38-year-old twice came close to achieving a nine-dart finish, which would have brought him an extra £100,000 from the sponsors to go with the £30,000 first prize.

In the third set he began with seven successive treble 20s but, needing treble 19 and double 12, he missed his eighth dart.

Manley, who was runner-up in the British Open earlier in the week, said: "Most people who play Taylor are beaten before they start.

"It's easy to fear him when you see what the guy has done in darts."

He told an appreciative crowd: "Never fear, I shall be back next year."

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