Darts legend Phil Taylor declares "love" for Hull after thrilling final defeat

Phil Taylor declared his love for Hull after going close to marking his darts comeback with a tournament victory in the city.

The Power made a disappointing return to competitive action earlier this year, suffering an early exit at the World Seniors Championship. But he improved at his next event, reaching the final of the World Seniors Masters, losing to Canadian David Cameron.

And at the weekend, he was the star attraction as Hull’s Bonus Arena hosted the World Seniors Matchplay, where he reached the final again, only to lose 12-10 to World Seniors champion Robert Thornton after a thrilling match.

READ MORE: Phil Taylor fires ominous warning to "worried" darts rivals after run to final

Taylor began his campaign on Friday night, beating Deta Hedman 8-4, and didn’t return to the oche until his quarter-final against Peter Manley on Sunday afternoon. Therefore, The Power used his spare Saturday to explore the delights of Hull, Yorkshire’s only waterfront city and home to around 320,000 people. He was impressed with what he saw.

“I’ve loved today, absolutely love it, and I’ve loved Hull as well,” Taylor told Online Darts TV after the final. “We had the chance to go round on Saturday and have a look at the town because you never really get the chance to see places [at tournaments]. I love it. One of my best friends, Joe Longthorne, was from Hull. I love this place.”

Singer Longthorne, one of Hull’s most famous sons, sadly passed away in 2019 at the age of 64.

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Meanwhile, Taylor believes he has got his rivals “worried” with his performance at the Matchplay and has vowed to hit the practice board hard ahead of the next year’s World Seniors Championship in February.

“I can get better. I’ve got to go home now and improve. We’re going to go back at six in the morning so I can practice,” he said. “So at 12 o’clock I’m going to get back on the practice board with Matthew, my grandson, and just practice a bit harder.”

Taylor believes his form will have caught the attention of his rivals on the World Seniors Tour, with the next event the World Championship at the Circus Tavern in February.

“The difference is now, they’re worried. Now they’re thinking ‘don’t get Phil, because Phil’s coming back’,” he said. “The one thing they’ve got on me is my finishing, my finishing was poor today, I was pushing it, pulling it, but it’s coming.”


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