The phenomenal achievements of darts legend Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor have been formally recognised by the Staffordshire University with the award of an honorary doctorate.
In 2007, thirteen times World Champion, Taylor, donned mortar and gown when he visited the University’s graduation week Awards Village at Trentham Gardens recently to collect his honorary degree.
Burslem-born Taylor told the crowd that he had left school at fifteen and held down a number of jobs to make ends meet, while perfecting his darts action. As all darts fans know, Phil was spotted playing in pubs in the Potteries by world champion Eric Bristow, who then sponsored the young
Taylor and set him on the road to success.
Phil told the packed Ceremony Hall, “One teacher asked me what I wanted to be and I said ‘an engineer’. The teacher said I had no chance because I was rubbish. So I thought ‘Right then!’ When I started winning at darts I bought a Jaguar and drove up and down past the school tooting the horn to make sure he knew.” He then joked with the crowd, asking if he could now be admitted to the students’ bar. As well as working on his fitness, Phil promised the crowd that he would capture his title back from Raymond van Barneveld.
‘The Power’ was chosen for the award for his achievements in sport and told the packed hall full of students they had to believe in themselves and work hard to achieve their dreams.
Phil follows the likes of Sir Stanley Matthews, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Imran Sherwani, Steve Cram and John Mayock as members of the sporting community receiving doctorates at Staffordshire University.
© 2007 Patrick Chaplin
Congratulations to Phil on his achievement. It is interesting to note that Phil’s Honorary Doctorate took him as long to earn as it took me to earn my real Doctorate.