Two-time PDC World Darts champion Gary Anderson is sorry that old rival Phil Taylor will be retiring after next year’s World Finals in London.
The Flying Scotsman, who will play current world champion Michael van Gerwen in the Motherwell Masters this Friday night, will miss Stoke legend ‘The Power’ Taylor, himself a 16-time world champion.
Gary (46), of Eyemouth, said: “I am gutted that Phil is retiring.
“Phil has really been unbelievable for the sport and will always be the No.1 in my books.
“I’m glad he won’t be beating me any more, but I will miss our battles.
“If Phil at his peak played Michael van Gerwen just now then I think that Phil would win.
“At his peak, Phil would batter his opponent psychologically. Phil was simply the best ever.”
The rise of professional darts has been nothing short of staggering in recent years, with thousands packing out arenas to watch the world’s best and millions more around the world watching the action live on television.
Anderson said: “The PDC do such an amazing job of promoting the sport it will only go now from strength to strength.
“I believe the real growth is yet to come when darts gets more popular in places like Germany and the Far East.”
Anderson, who joked that he works out in the gym to stay fit, also isn’t one for overdoing his darts practice.
He said: “I spend at least 10 hours in the gym as you can tell from my ripped physique! Seriously, though, I wouldn’t even have time to go to the gym if I wanted to.
“Most people will tell you that I don’t practice enough! The crucial thing is not to get burn out.
“I practice when I need to and it seems to have worked for me so far.”
Anderson said the only thing he would change about darts is having a tournament in Barbados as “that would be the life”.
The Scots ace will take top billing in the game against Van Gerwen at Motherwell Concert Hall this Friday, on a bill which also includes Dutch ace Vincent van Voort, Premier League star Michael Smith, plus darting legends Bobby George and Wayne Mardle.
“Obviously I am always keen to beat Michael at any time,” Anderson added.
“It is always good to show him that he hasn’t got it all his own way.
“I believe that if I play my A game and put him under pressure at the right moments, I will beat him.”