Power to be turned off in 2018 as Taylor announces retirement date

Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images

Phil 'The Power' Taylor has said that 2017 will be his last year on the professional darts circuit.

The 16-time world champion and the undisputed greatest player of all-time confirmed his decision ahead of the Masters event in Milton Keynes, which started on Friday night.

Taylor, 56, stands alone in the history of darts as the man to have done more than anyone to make the sport the force it is today.

The Professional Darts Corporation tweeted Taylor's decision, saying:

Taylor will now embark on what is likely to be a celebratory farewell tour which will wind up at the World Championships at Alexandra Palace at the end of the year.

The Burslem man - who won the first of his world titles in 1990 -- had made little secret of his desperation to win a 17th crown there earlier this month.

But a crushing quarterfinal defeat to old foe Raymond van Barneveld put paid to that ambition and he had to watch as Michael van Gerwen -- the heir to his throne -- beat Gary Anderson in the final.

Taylor -- so accustomed to holding the number one ranking -- is currently sixth in the world and remains one of the sport's leading forces, but he is preparing to bow out.

"It's the last year for me, this will probably be my last Masters so at the end of the year, that's me done," he told ITV Sport.

"The World Championship will be my last one and I'm looking forward to it now, I'm really looking forward to it.

"Last one, January, that's it, no more."