Phil Taylor is set to make a sensational return to competitive darts at the age of 61, as ‘The Power’ prepares to headline the inaugural World Seniors Darts Championship in 2022.
The 16-time world champion bowed out from the sport following the 2018 World Championship, and despite constant speculation surrounding a comeback during the last four years, Taylor could not be tempted into a return.
However, it was confirmed on Saturday morning that Taylor had accepted an invitation to compete in a new version of the World Championship next year – featuring former world champions over the age of 50.
The Stoke-on-Trent veteran is expected to headline the Seniors World Championship alongside John Lowe, John Part, Dennis Priestley, Bob Anderson, Martin Adams, Richie Burnett, Keith Deller, Les Wallace and Andy Fordham, who have all been invited to compete.
Promoted by MODUS Darts and Jason Francis, owner of snooker’s world seniors circuit, the event has been pencilled in for February 2022, with a minimum of £25,000 on offer to the winner.
The tournament could potentially be held at iconic darting venues such as the Circus Tavern or the Lakeside Country Club, but organisers are currently in advanced talks with a number of venues, while television coverage and sponsorship is also in the pipeline.
Taylor, who signed a ten-year contract extension with Target Darts last week, enjoyed unprecedented success during his three decades of darting domination, scooping over 100 major titles across both codes.
Reflecting on his comeback, ‘The Power’ admitted: “I lost my hunger four years ago, but having seen the concept that MODUS and Snooker Legends have put together and having worked for MODUS Sports for many years on the exhibition circuit, I could not resist making a comeback.
“I cannot wait to hit the practice board and show my old rivals I still have what it takes to win. I dominated the professional tour, maybe I can dominate the seniors too,” he added.
There will be at least two qualification spots available through a Seniors Qualifying School later this year, open to all amateur dart players over the age of 50.
Nevertheless, the decorated trio of Raymond van Barneveld, Gary Anderson and Peter Wright are not expected to compete. While they are all in their fifties, they’re unlikely to be released from their PDC contracts, which prohibits Tour Card holders from competing in events hosted by separate organisations.