28 Jan 2017

The Power to call it quits

11:17 am on 28 January 2017

Phil Taylor says 2017 will be his last year on the professional darts circuit.

English Darts legend Phil Taylor

English Darts legend Phil Taylor Photo: RNZ Barry Guy

The 16-time world champion and the undisputed greatest player of all-time confirmed his decision ahead of this weekend's Masters event in Milton Keynes.

The 56-year-old Englishman stands alone in the history of darts as the man to have done more than anyone to make the sport the force it is today.

The Professional Darts Corporation tweeted Taylor's decision, saying: "Phil Taylor confirms that 2017 will be his final year on the PDC Circuit."

He may still play in events such as the Premier League and the World Series.

The former world number one, now ranked number six, has also won 15 World Matchplays and the World Grand Prix on 11 occasions.

"It's the last year for me, this will probably be my last Masters so at the end of the year, that's me done," he told ITV Sport at the Masters event in Milton Keynes.

"The World Championship will be my last one and I'm looking forward to it now, I'm really looking forward to it. Last one, January, that's it, no more."

Taylor - already the most popular player on the planet - can expect a raucous send-off for the rest of 2017.

Commitments in events such as the Premier League will allow darts fans all over the country to say farewell to the man more responsible than anyone for the popularity darts now has.

Once regarded as a pub sport played by beer-swillers in smoky rooms, it is now played out to live audiences of thousands and TV audiences of millions, thanks in no small part to Taylor's enduring success and popularity.