By Phil Lanning
PHIL TAYLOR will make a spine-tingling competitive return to the Circus Tavern for the World Seniors Championship.
The Power is the headline attraction for the event which will start on February 3 next year at the legendary Essex venue.
Taylor, 60, won 11 of his 16 World Championships at the A13 venue, the last final held there was his epic sudden death defeat to Raymond van Barneveld in 2007.
It will be an emotional return for the Stoke star to the Tavern, known for its intimate and barnstorming atmosphere with fans crammed in so close to the stage.
Taylor admitted: “The World Seniors Darts championship will be held at Circus Tavern in 2022. I cannot wait. Peter Manley is back – I hope I get him first round!
“I’ll be back on the practice board, taking it dead serious and taking them all on at the Seniors.
“It would be great to rattle a few cages again. I would love to see the look on a few people’s faces if they land me in the draw.
“Most people probably start thinking about winding down when they reach 60, but the chance to become a World Champion again has given me a new lease of life.”
Taylor will make his grand entrance into the Tavern on February 4th at the 7pm session.
Already 22 players have been announced, the headline ex-World Champs joining Taylor including John Part who beat The Power on that famous stage in 2003. Other World Champ entrants will be Wayne Warren, John Lowe, John Part, Martin Adams, Bob Anderson, Keith Deller, Ted Hankey, Andy Fordham, Les Wallace, John Walton and Richie Burnett.
But there’s a host of other high-class names. Kevin Painter will be back at the Tavern, scene of his great final with Taylor in 2004. Peter Manley also returns to the stage where he lost three finals to Taylor in 1999, 2002 and 2006.
Trina Gulliver will also be there along with Tony O’Shea, Terry Jenkins, Robert Thornton, Darryl Fitton, Roland Scholten and the most recent addition Paul Lim.
Two further qualifiers will come from an event weekend of November 13/14, making a complete field of 24.
The top eight seeds placed into last 16 while seeds 9-24 play an extra round to find eight winners to meet them. The winner will receive a minimum £25,000 cheque.
The format will be sets and legs like the original World Championships. Should any player be unable to appear because of ill health or because they regain professional status then first reserve is Deta Hedman. Tickets go on sale on June 1.
Images by Taylor Lanning.