Phil 'The Power' Taylor • Page 2

The darts legend speaks.

Eurogamer: Synchronised swimming?

Phil 'The Power' Taylor: I wasn't bad at badminton. I wasn't bad at snooker, but I could never beat Stephen Hendry. Darts - I could do it, it was natural.

I was working, I'd got three jobs, I had three children to look after, I was bringing home 74 pounds a week. Couldn't live on it. My missus had 70, I had four pounds a week pocket money. I'd weld cars, repair cars, I used to work behind a bar Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. That's the way I lived. But then when I could play a tournament and win hundreds of pounds...

The first tournament I ever won, they paid me 500 pounds cash. They gave me it in fifty pound notes. I went looking for the organiser because I was going to strangle him. I said, "What's this? Give me my money."

I thought he was trying to con me because I'd never seen a fifty pound note in my life. I said, "There's no such thing as a fifty pound note. I'm telling you, I'll strangle you." He's going, "It's legal tender!" I thought it was Monopoly money. He just laughed at me.

Then I bought my Mum a new coat. Paid a hundred pound for it, two fifty pound notes. "Here, mother." Brilliant.

Eurogamer: What's the most extravagant thing you've spent your winnings on?

Phil 'The Power' Taylor: I used to buy things for the house, so new curtains, new saucepans, furniture, towels, because everything we had was second hand when I first left home. Then I remember buying a video.

Eurogamer: VHS or Betamax?

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Phil 'The Power' Taylor: The first one was Betamax. Sanyo Betamax. 299 pound. That was the tournament when I won 300 pounds and a year's supply of pickles.

Eurogamer: What, like gherkins?

Phil 'The Power' Taylor: Yep, a year's supply of Heyworth's pickles. At the time my missus was pregnant and she had a craving for pickles. She'd sit there and eat jars of them. She ate them all. Had heartburn for about six months.

Eurogamer: Turning from gherkins to games...

Phil 'The Power' Taylor: The game's very good. I like the Wii machine. I'm not saying that because I'm part of it. I've got one in the house and we play the darts, but also we play the bowling and the baseball and the boxing. When we're doing it the kids aren't watching the television; they're up and moving about instead of sitting there doing nothing.

I like it because it's using the mind as well. The kids have got to know about mathematics. If I said to you, 'What's nine 17s?', you might think, 'Oof.' But I know what three treble 17s are, and that's how I work things out - by using doubles and trebles.

Eurogamer: Unlike the Wii, darts has quite a macho image...

Phil 'The Power' Taylor: There are ladies that play. I think I'm the last of the bigger breed. I'm 47. I was fit when I was a kid, but as I got older I got more content. I don't do as much exercise as I should do.

Eurogamer: What is your fitness regime like?

Phil 'The Power' Taylor: I shed weight like that [clicks fingers] when I exercise.

I normally do treadmill, cross-trainer, rowing, bike and then maybe a bit of a swim. I can lose stones in a month, it just drops off me.

I went up the rescue home the other day and got myself a big doberman. He can run for England. And I've got a big forest where I live, it's dead fresh and crisp, so we'll be out there after Christmas. Lovely.

Eurogamer: Are you happy with how you're represented in the game?

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Phil 'The Power' Taylor: Yeah, I think it's very flattering. I look a bit muscly, a bit Ricky Hatton.

Eurogamer: Is playing the Wii version of the game good practice for someone who wants to be a professional darts player?

Phil 'The Power' Taylor: It's very similar to throwing a normal dart. More or less the same. Obviously there's a bit more thinking with the Wii machine. The thing is with children, they've got to work out their finishes. If you want 121, you probably wouldn't know how to do it. But if I was to tell you how, five or six times, you'd remember. I've got a grandson who's nearly five and I want him to do that.

When I was at school, we had a history teacher called Mr. Moore. We used to have a quiz between the girls and the boys, and he made it fun. I can remember everything about it because of that. That's what you've got to do with kids, make it fun. It's like any job. If you can go to work and have a bit of fun, you'll enjoy it more.

PDC World Championship Darts will be available for Wii, PC and PS2 on 11th January. The PSP version will follow on 25th April.

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About the author

Ellie Gibson

Ellie Gibson

Contributor  |  elliegibson

Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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