Taylor hits back in Bristow cheating row

Lawrence Lustig / PDC
Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor has hit back at Eric Bristow in the cheating row that has rocked darts.
Taylor won the BetVictor World Matchplay for a sixth successive year in Blackpool after a final against Adrian Lewis on Sunday night that experts rated among the best games ever played.
But victory was overshadowed by a bust-up with Bristow.
Video footage of Taylor’s win over Dean Winstanley in the Gibraltar Darts Trophy earlier this month showed ‘The Power’ winning a leg when his dart at double 12 landed just outside the wire.
Bristow, the five times world champion, told the press: “The player knows if it’s not in and has to declare it. You don’t want cheats.”
That left Taylor fuming and the 16 times world champion reacted by ending a friendship that started when he was Staffordshire team mates with Bristow more than 25 years ago.
“It was the hardest tournament I’ve ever won and Eric saying I’m a cheat made it harder,” he said after his 18-13 win over Lewis at the Winter Gardens.
“It made it harder for me to concentrate and I will never talk to him again as long as I live.
“I have never cheated in my life and when someone goes out and says you’re a cheat it breaks your heart.
“I’m over it now.
“He’s still laughing and joking with everyone because he thinks he’s done nowt wrong, but in my eyes he has.”
Bristow put Taylor on the path to darts greatness.
His sponsorship enabled Taylor to quit his engineering job in February, 1988 and become a full-time professional.
Taylor paid the money back – around £10,000 – through his earnings on the darts circuit and thrashed Bristow 6-1 in the final of the 1990 BDO world championship at Frimley Green.
He has gone on to become the greatest darts player in history by winning 16 world titles.
Looking back on the incident in Gibraltar, Taylor said: “There were shadows on the board, the other players will tell you that as well, but there were two referees and they both shouted: ‘Game, shot.’
“I offered to forfeit the game because I’ve never been a cheat.”
PDC bosses ruled the result should stand. 


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