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  Saturday, 30 December, 2000, 00:00 GMT
MBE glory for The Power
Phil Taylor
Powerhouse: Taylor has dominated the world of darts
Darts supremo Phil Taylor has been awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours List.

Taylor is rewarded for his services to the sport, and few could disagree with the accolade.

The larger-than-life star, known as 'The Power' has been the dominant force in darts for the past decade, winning eight world titles in the last 11 years.

But nothing could prepare him for this latest honour.


I'd love to be remembered as the best player there's ever been
Phil Taylor
"A letter came to me from 10 Downing Street and my first thought was 'what have I done now?'," he joked.

"I opened it up and it said I'd been nominated for an MBE. I honestly couldn't believe it.

"For three weeks I haven't been able to sleep, I've been so excited. To meet the Queen is unbelievable."

Pedestal

Taylor went on: "Darts has been my livelihood. I've got four lovely children and it's looked after us for the past 10 years.

"I'm a rich man - although not like Roy Keane and David Beckham, but I don't begrudge them, they've had to earn it."

The 40-year-old added: "I'd love to be remembered as the best player there's ever been. Someone will come and knock me off my pedestal soon - until then I'll keep trying."

Taylor's first triumph came against 'Crafty Cockney' Eric Bristow in the final of the Embassy World Championships in 1990.

The Frimley Green success catapulted him to overnight stardom and he repeated the feat two years later in a classic encounter with Mike Gregory.

That match, which Taylor won in the sudden death leg of the final set, is widely thought to be the greatest game ever, with both players in spectacular form.

When the sport of darts split in two, Taylor joined the newly-formed Professional Darts Corporation and promptly tasted defeat for the first time in a world final.

Unprecedented

His conqueror in the inaugural PDC World Championship at Purfleet was great friend and rival Dennis Priestley, but rather than triggering a freefall, it spurred Taylor onto even greater things.

Six successive titles later and the working class boy from The Potteries is back at the Circus Tavern seeking an unprecedented ninth world crown.

Phil Taylor
Taylor is regarded as one of sport's gentlemen
Add to that a hat-trick of World Matchplay and Grand Prix titles, as well a World Masters triumph and it is clear to see Taylor is in a class of his own.

Off the oche, he is widely regarded as one of the true gentlemen of sport who never turns down a chance to promote the game he loves.

On it, he is the silent, deadly assassin who slowly but surely grinds his opponents into submission, while accepting any rare defeat with the grace of a true professional.

Phil Taylor, MBE. It could not have happened to a nicer bloke.

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Phil Taylor
"I'm so excited, to meet the Queen is unbelievable"
New Year Honours

Sporting knights

Olympic honours

Football honoured

'Services to sport'

Around the UK
See also:

28 Dec 00 | Other Sports
29 Dec 00 | Other Sports
28 Dec 00 | Other Sports
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