Darts: Phil Taylor defies odds to claim 16th world title
PHIL "The Power" Taylor battled back to deny bookies' favourite Michael van Gerwen a place in the record books and claim his 16th world title at Alexandra Palace.
Taylor came from 2-0 and 4-2 down to beat van Gerwen 7-4 in an epic PDC Ladbrokes world championship final.
• GALLERY: Phil 'The Power' Taylor takes PDC crown
Van Gerwen, just eight months old when Taylor won his first world title in 1990, was aiming to become the youngest winner of the PDC world championship in its 20-year history.
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The 23-year-old Dutchman took early charge, but missed two darts at a double to lead 5-2 – and that proved to be the turning point.
Taylor won the next five sets without reply – losing just five more legs – to claim the £200,000 winner's cheque.
Taylor, who had not won the sport's biggest prize since 2010, had a three-dart average of 103.04, threw five maximum 180s and took out a 170 checkout.
He said afterwards: "It's one of the biggest nights of my life. I'm the proudest man in the world.
"Michael was phenomenal, he's one of the best players I've seen in my career and I didn't think I was going to crack him.
"My darts that had been going on the wire started going in and the crowd lifted me."
An emotional Taylor issued a public apology after the spat that followed his semi-final win over Ray van Barneveld and talked about the possibility of retiring.
He said after last night's triumph: "I really don't know how much longer I can go on for. I will be 53 years old when I come back to defend the world title and that's ridiculous."
Taylor's victory saw him become the first recipient of the Sid Waddell trophy, named in honour of the popular darts commentator who died last year.
"Sid was like a father figure to me – he was my biggest fan, Sid was. I loved him to bits. I am absolutely over the moon. I can't explain how I feel. It's the biggest night of my life," Taylor added.
Van Gerwen paid tribute to Taylor, saying: "Phil played great. It was a tough game for me. Phil was awesome.
"I want to say thanks to the crowd and everyone who helped me along."