The new year did not start too brightly for Phil Taylor as he was crushed in the final of the PDC World Championship final by Rob Cross, but he did have the not inconsiderable consolation of having the event hereafter named in his honour.
This huge tribute was announced shortly after his comprehensive defeat to Cross by Barry Hearn, the chairman of the PDC.
"Today, at a PDC meeting, we unanimously voted that the World Matchplay trophy will be renamed the Phil Taylor Trophy from this July in honour of the great man so we don't forget his contribution to the world of darts,” Hearn said.
"Without him, a lot of this wouldn't be here today."
The 16-time champion, playing in his final event before retirement, cruised into the final, but was no match for World Championship debutant Cross, who was in stunning form after knocking out World No 1 Michael van Gerwen in the semi-final.
The Alexandra crowd did not get the fairytale ending for Phil 'The Power' that many had hoped, but they got to see the emergence of a new superstar on the darts scene.
Taylor was philosophical in defeat, as he admitted that father time had caught up with him.
"I tried my best, but he was like me 25 years ago, he was relentless and didn't stop putting me under pressure.
"It was like an old man against a young man. It was a mis-match. That's it for me because I haven't got the energy or interest to beat Michael van Gerwen or him (Cross)."
Cross was full of respect for a man he grew up idolising as he hailed the man who has dominated darts for over two decades.
He said: “I feel great but I've got to say it's Phil's last year, I've won my first world trophy but it's about him departing and that's why I let him lift the trophy with me.
"It was my dream 15 years ago to play this guy and now I've played him, it's absolutely phenomenal. I was actually born in 1990 when he won his first title.
"Watching him with his dominance over the years he has been excellent and you won't see another sportsman like him, you definitely won't."
Taylor may have retired, but his legacy will forever remain with this fitting tribute to the great champion.
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