Smiling Taylor Targets Last Hurrah

May 18 2017

PHIL TAYLOR is aiming to smile his way to the Betway Premier League title in Thursday's Play-Offs at The O2 in London.

Taylor will play his final night of Premier League darts in Thursday's Play-Offs, as he targets a seventh title in the 13 seasons in which he has competed in the tournament.

With the 56-year-old heading towards retirement at the end of the year, Taylor has seen a more relaxed approach to his career pay dividends in securing a final Play-Off spot, where he meets Peter Wright in the semi-finals.

"I'll give it my best shot, but if I don't win it then I'm not going to beat myself up about it," he said. "I'm going to play with a big smile on my face, and if I win it then I'll have a bigger smile on my face!

"Barry Hearn said that a smile hurts worse than a punch, so that's probably the best attitude to take."

The 11/1 outsider with Betway as he continues his farewell year, Taylor would need to defeat Wright and then overcome either Michael van Gerwen or Gary Anderson if he is to lift the prestigious trophy one last time.

However, the Stoke legend added: "I could win it, course I can. If play properly, hit my doubles and score right then I can win it.

"At the minute, my form's a bit up and down, so it all depends which one turns up and hopefully it all clicks together.

"You've only got to play well for one night now, whereas before you've got to play well for 15 weeks to get here."

Taylor's preparation for the Play-Offs has included his publicity drive to raise funds for Scottish youngster Jackson Waddell, a cerebral palsy sufferer who he met at an exhibition in Glasgow last weekend.

Taylor donated £20,000 on the night after meeting the six-year-old's family, and has given his support to the campaign to raise the £70,000 needed for treatment in America.

"As soon as I met him I wanted to do something to help," said Taylor. "He's a lovely young lad and his family were fantastic, and hopefully we can help him get the treatment."

For more information about the fundraising campaign for Jackson Waddell, click here.

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