Taylor lauds new world champion Cross

Rob Cross (left) and Phil Taylor with the William Hill World Darts Championship trophy. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Phil Taylor said the darting world has ‘a little animal’ on its hands in the form of new world champion Rob Cross.

St Leonards-based Cross beat 16-time champion Taylor by seven sets to two to win the 2018 William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London, last night (New Year’s Day).

Speaking to Sky Sports on stage after the final match of a glorious career spanning three decades, the retiring Taylor said: “He was like me 25 years ago. He was relentless, he doesn’t stop putting you under pressure and that’s the way I used to be.

“He’s a lot like myself. He’s dedicated, he’s listened, he’s learned and the players next year have got a big problem. We’ve got somebody now who’s dedicated and wants to win.

“I actually don’t think the money is going to make a scrap of difference with him; I think it’s about winning and that’s the way I was. You’ve got a little animal on your hands. I quite like him, he’s got that grit in his teeth.”

Cross averaged more than 107 in the biggest match of his career against an opponent playing in his 21st world final at the age of 57.

“It was like an old man against a young player,” added Taylor. “I was at the end of my career and he’s at the beginning of his career. It was a mis-match really.

“He was a brilliant player. I tried my best and I’m so pleased that’s it for me because I just haven’t got the energy to beat him any more.”

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