Belfast Telegraph

Biting back: Darts champ Phil Taylor deserves a BBC gong

By Declan Bogue

Forget the showdown between Rory McIlroy and Lewis Hamilton for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award — if darting legend Phil Taylor wins the World Championship, they should hand him next year’s BBC gong immediately.

Many people feel our Rory was robbed on Sunday night with F1 ace Lewis handed the coveted prize, but it will be a far more serious crime if Taylor is crowned world champion for a 17th time — at the ripe old age of 54 — and doesn’t win BBC Sports Personality.

The darting action gets under way tonight —  with the final on Sunday fortnight — at Alexandra Palace in London, champion Michael van Gerwen topping the bill this evening.

Taylor, who defeated Van Gerwen in the final the previous year, begins his campaign tomorrow night.

The Dutchman is 29 years Taylor’s junior, so for ‘The Power’ to regain the title he won two years ago would be one of the all-time great sporting feats. And surely worthy of the accolade of BBC Sports Personality of the Year come next December.

Taylor, incidentally, was runner-up in SPOTY to our own Tony McCoy in 2010.

And McCoy could have beaten him to the prize again in 2015 had he become the first jockey to ride 300 winners in a season, which before injuries sustained in a recent fall had looked on the cards.

Taylor is very much on form ahead of the Ally Pally extravaganza, so much so that he starts the £1.25m tournament as favourite.

And if Taylor triumphs he simply has to be the next BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Then darts must become an Olympic sport in 2016. Or perhaps that’s pushing it a bit.

Belfast Telegraph

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