Darts legends Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld have reunited in their retirement, 15 years on from the epic world championship final in 2007. In their prime Taylor and van Barneveld played out one of the greatest rivalries the sport has ever seen.
This battle peaked in 2007, as the heroic pair played out one of the best world finals in living memory at the Circus Tavern in Essex. It was Van Barneveld who prevailed thanks to a thrilling 7-6 victory in a remarkably dramatic finish.
Taylor initially looked as if he was going to breeze to the title after finding himself 3-0 up in the early stages of the final.
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However, van Barneveld fought his way back into it resulting in the legendary duo being tied at 6-6 in sets and 5-5 in legs. It left one leg of darts to decide the world championship and it was the Dutchman who secured his fifth world title, by checking out tops.
15 years on from that famous night, Taylor and van Barneveld reunited as they took part in an exhibition event in Bristol. Just as they did in 2007 the pair met in the final of the tournament, and once again it was van Barneveld who prevailed as he defeated his long-time rival 4-1.
After their exhibition there was a lot of love shown for the iconic duo on social media as they reignited their great rivalry. One fan – @JimHillis – wrote on Twitter: “Great to see these 2 LEGENDS back together on stage.”
Whilst @TonyDabell echoed these thoughts, adding: “Legends both of them, two great men as well.” Prior to this exhibition outing, Taylor had his name back in lights after he was referenced by Michael van Gerwen after the Dutchman became World Matchplay champion for the third time just over a week ago.
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Van Gerwen defeated Welsh star Gerwyn Price 18-14 in the final in Blackpool, and made a bold statement about ‘The Power’ in his post-match interview claiming that whilst Taylor was the ‘greatest’ in the sport’s history, he is in fact ‘the best’.
After lifting the trophy named after the darts great, van Gerwen said: “It’s the first time I’ve got my hands on the Phil Taylor Trophy, that means a lot to me. Phil Taylor, what he did for darts is incredible. He's been the greatest in the sport of all time, not the best, because that’s me, but he’s been the greatest.”
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