Sunday May 24 marks ten years since Phil Taylor created history during the 2010 Premier League Play-Offs as the first player to hit two nine-darters in one match.

In this special feature, we look back on a remarkable night in the sport's rich history...

2010 Premier League Play-Offs (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

Ironically, there wasn't even meant to be darts played on Monday May 24 2010, but a power cut in the area of the Wembley Arena on Sunday a couple of hours before the Premier League Play-Offs were due to begin saw the event moved back 24 hours.

The event was already memorable for Stephen Fry, who had been lined up as a guest commentator with Sky Sports and was at the Wembley Arena on Sunday night when, quite literally, the power went out.

The move back to Monday evening left the famous author and TV personality in a quandry, and he cancelled his plans for the next night to return to Wembley alongside thousands of fans to see the season's culmination.

Taylor topped the league table for a sixth successive year since the tournament's introduction, winning 12 and drawing two of his 14 matches in an imperious campaign which saw him finish ten points clear of second-placed Simon Whitlock, the World Championship finalist appearing in his first Premier League season.

Reigning champion James Wade finished in third place, with Mervyn King fourth to complete the semi-final line-up.

Raymond van Barneveld missed out on the Play-Offs for the first time in five years, but landed a memorable nine-darter - his second in the Premier League - in Aberdeen on Night 12.

Ronnie Baxter, Adrian Lewis and Terry Jenkins completed the eight-player line-up for the 2010 Premier League season, which began at The O2 in London before returning to the capital for the Play-Offs.

The Play-Offs began as James Wade, the reigning champion and the runner-up in 2008, defeated Simon Whitlock 8-6 to move into the final for a third successive year.

Fry then joined Sid Waddell and Rod Harrington in the Sky Sports commentary box for the second semi-final, as Taylor powered past Mervyn King 8-1 - avenging his loss to the same opponent in the 2009 semis.

Taylor's display saw him produce the season's highest average to date at 107.98 - an ominous sign of what would later unfold - and left Fry marvelling at "a procession" as Waddell rewrote a Bonnie Tyler classic.

"Once upon a time he was breaking all records, now he's only breaking his heart," summed up Waddell. "Nothing you can do, total eclipse of the dart."

Fry laughed, adding "Bonnie Taylor" before leaving the commentary box for a seat in the crowd to watch the remainder of the night.

King recovered to win the third-placed Play-Off, before Taylor and Wade returned to the stage to compete for the £125,000 top prize.


Wade opened the final with a 180 and took out 136 to win the opening leg, but that was akin to prodding a bear as Taylor hit back in leg two in the best possible fashion.

Taylor opened the leg with a 174 score, then hit a 180 before finishing 147 with treble 20, treble 17 and double 18 to record the first nine-darter in a televised final.

Taylor finished 110 in leg three, and after Wade levelled it was the Stoke ace who took the next three for a 5-2 cushion, and also led 7-4.

Defending champion Wade showed his class to hit back to seven-all, but again this provoked a - literally - perfect response from Taylor.

Leg 15 was opened with two 180s, before Taylor finished 141 on double 12 to create history - bringing the Wembley Arena's crowd to its feet.

Taylor then opened leg 16 with a 174 score, and added a 180 to leave 147 once more to set up a potential third nine-darter.

Taylor landed the treble 20 before missing the treble 17 - but returned to win the leg in ten darts and move 9-7 up, before eventually closing out a 10-8 triumph to win back the Premier League title.


Dave Lanning after Wade went 1-0 up with a 136 finish: "That really was something very special. Wade in the mood and he has hit Phil Taylor with a very crisp uppercut in the first round."

Sid Waddell as Taylor opens with a 174 and Wade hits a 100: "In the Premier League in the last two years he's the only man to beat this man twice. He beat him in Glasgow and then he beat him in Aberdeen in '09. He is the holder, James Wade. In that match earlier against Whitlock it was 4-1 in no time with Wade. The flow of that arm, it is instinctive talent facing manufactured talent."

Taylor returns for his second 180, and Waddell continues: "Perfect dart to continue towards that magic nine. There's an ocean to the left of the marker. We're on the edge of our seats. At Aberdeen when Barney hit the nine-darter, Dave called it."

Dave Lanning as Taylor takes out 147: "147 the shot then for a nine-dart finish from Philip Taylor. Hold your breath. Treble 17. Double 18 for a moment of history."

Sid Waddell: "He did it! He did it! A nine-darter in answer. I do not believe my godlin bins!"

Dave Lanning: "Well, there is Philip Taylor and there is his opponent, and you have joined in and shared a moment again of sporting majesty and television history."

LEG 15
Sid Waddell as Taylor hits the first 180: "He'll use the middle lie - he used the two barrels - eat your heart out Isaac Newton, that was an apple falling that third dart by Taylor. James chasing him though."

Dave Lanning as Wade scores 100: "Whisper it again Sid, there's a nine-darter in prospect here if Taylor hits another 180 or 177."

Sid Waddell as Taylor returns to the oche to hit his second 180: "He did a nine-darter in leg two, Wade having won the first leg. He's after hit again. What a gasp there'll be if he gets this one. HE'S ON IT - AGAIN! HE'S ON IT AGAIN. HE DID IT IN LEG TWO."

Dave Lanning as Wade throws a 180 of his own: "Well, whoever thought I was going to say this...I called one Sid, it's your turn to possibly call a second for the first time in darting history."

Sid Waddell as Taylor takes out the 141 checkout: "They are both coming down in nine-darter style. Treble 19. DOUBLE TWELVE! Dave Lanning say it, because I am gobsmacked. I am gobsmacked. Say it Dave."

Dave Lanning as Taylor celebrates: "You are present in a moment of the greatest sporting history, certainly in darts. Two nine-darters in one night from Phil Taylor. Tell your grandchildren about that. That's the dart that did it for Phil Taylor and that is historic."

Sid Waddell: "Dave Lanning said in leg five he thought Phil was after two. I concurred. Two nine-darters in one match. You wouldn't believe it, but you must because it's here on your box."


After being presented with the trophy by Fry, on behalf of sponsors Whyte & Mackay, Taylor admitted: "I'm a very proud man.

"I've won every title in the PDC and I don't think I can ever do better than this - it's the proudest day of my life.

"Everything I've done for the last 30 years has all come together. It's been my dream to do this. It's absolutely incredible and possibly the greatest moment of my career.

"I knew it was possible to hit two nine-darters in one game and I said to Rod Harrington in the break after six legs of the final that I thought there could be a second in our game.

"I was playing well enough and James was improving too. You put him under pressure and he hits you back hard to put pressure on you not to miss doubles.

"I was nice and relaxed going into the final and am delighted to do that for the fans who turned out after the postponement yesterday and with an England football game on next door at Wembley."

Wade said: "It was an incredible game and in a way it's a compliment that Phil hit two nine-darters to beat me.

"The score was 10-8 so those two legs were the difference and I don't think that two nine-darters will ever be seen again in such a short format."

Phil Taylor - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Runner-Up

2010 would end as one of Taylor's most successful years on the oche, having already won the World Championship - his 15th title - before his Premier League success.

He also won the UK Open for a fourth time and later added a third successive title at both the World Matchplay and European Championship.

Taylor also achieved a then world record televised average of 118.66 during the UK Open, in a 9-0 win over Kevin Painter, which stood for almost six years.

The 2010 campaign ended with a nomination in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards for a second time, following his previous 2006 appearance in the top ten. 

This time, Taylor was voted by the British public as the runner-up to champion jockey Tony McCoy, but was a deserving recognition of an incredible year in the career of darts' most successful player.