Phil Taylor has admitted that he is seriously considering the prospect of semi-retirement. ‘The Power’, who was beaten in the Dubai Darts Masters semi-finals by Gary Anderson on Friday, revealed in his pre-match interview that he was contemplating the thought of retirement.
The 16-time world champion has enjoyed remarkable and unprecedented longevity, having competed at the pinnacle of the sport for the last thirty years. Taylor previously claimed that he would retire at the age of 55, but the Stoke-on-Trent ace, who turns 56 in August, did acknowledge that it was time to ‘slow down’.
Taylor claimed that from next January, he will be ‘semi-retired’. He insists he won’t be competing in any Pro Tour events; instead focusing solely on major TV tournaments. This is a strategy currently employed by Raymond van Barneveld, who is attempting to combat the hectic schedule by being selective over the tournaments he enters.
Taylor told Gulf News: “Barry Hearn [The PDC Chairman] talked me into doing a few more years. I’m 56 this year [in August] and I’m slowing down now, I’m semi-retiring.”
“We’re going to sit down in January; Bob Glenn (Taylor’s manager) looks after me and my diary and everything. This year’s taped out now, so we’ll look at the calendar and have a holiday or something.”
“I’ve had 30 years of running around now. I have to tell him (Bob Glenn) to shut up sometimes when he mentions the schedule! I’ve probably got something like 26 hours of flights ahead and then you’ve got seven days before you play in the World Matchplay and then fly back to Australia. It does take its toll,” he added.
Taylor, who is currently ranked third on the PDC Order of Merit, has acknowledged that his chances of becoming world number one again are virtually non-existent, due to the fact that his participation on the Pro Tour is sporadic to say the least. Nevertheless, ‘The Power’ is still desperate to secure a 17th World Championship title.
The thought of retirement can be slightly daunting for many professional sportsmen, but Taylor appears to be relishing the prospect. “I’m looking forward to it. I’ll probably sleep for six months. There’s loads I could do. I’ll always work for the rest of my life.”
Taylor has talked frequently of his impending retirement over the last decade and on most occasions any plans to retire have been subsequently curtailed. He still appears as hungry as ever for success and he’ll be desperate to end his wait for a major ranking TV title, since the 2014 World Matchplay.
However, the gruelling schedule which comes with the territory of being a top player will undoubtedly be taking its toll on the greatest darter of all time. Whilst he is still operating at the pinnacle of the game, it’s hard to envisage Taylor calling a halt to his career, but this is unquestionably a period of uncertainty for ‘The Power’ supporters.