Phil Taylor planned to embark on a year-long tour of celebration after announcing on this day in 2017 that he would bring his incredibly successful career to an end after the next PDC World Darts Championship.
Taylor was a 16-time world champion and the undisputed greatest player of all-time, but at 56 and with every achievement ticked off, he decided he would bow out after the Alexandra Palace showpiece in December and January.
“It’s the last year for me, this will probably be my last Masters so at the end of the year, that’s me done,” he told ITV Sport at the Masters event in Milton Keynes.
“The World Championship will be my last one and I’m looking forward to it now, I’m really looking forward to it. Last one, January, that’s it, no more.”
Commitments in events such as the Premier League allowed darts fans all over the country to say farewell to the man more responsible than anyone for the popularity darts now has.
A record 16 World Championships were only part of the story, too, as ‘The Power’ won more than 200 titles after turning professional in 1986.
Add to that the first televised nine-dart finish and 18 more in PDC competition, and he remains in a field of his own, with not even the swashbuckling Michael Van Gerwen able to stand alongside Taylor’s achievements.
He won his 16th World Matchplay later that year but was denied a fairytale farewell after being beaten in the World Championship final by new kid on the block Rob Cross.
“It has been marvellous. I have had a fantastic career,” he said at the presentation ceremony afterwards.
“The youngsters coming through now are fantastic. They are dedicated, young, they are fit and I cannot compete any more.”