Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor is widely regarded as the world’s finest darts player, with 16 World Championships to his name.
But back in 1988, there was no nickname, no entrance music and no life-changing cash prizes when he competed in the Lincolnshire Open.
“Philip takes £750 in county darts open tournament” was the headline in the Boston Standard 25 years ago.
Back then, the 28-year-old Taylor was not the biggest name in the game.
In fact, his victory was tucked away downpage, four pages from the back, sandwiched between swimming and pigeon racing reports.
“Philip Taylor, county player from Staffordshire, clinched the Lincolnshire Open and £750, beating Graham Ward (Doncaster) 3-0 in the final registering 8, 24 and 21 dart legs,” read the story’s intro.
Taylor’s semi-final victory against Wayne Harrison of the West Midlands was recognised as the best contest of the weekend, which saw the Stoke arrowman come out on top from the 315 entrants.
Representing the county at Richmond Cara-Park, Skegness, were Dave Lambley, Gary Garton and George Fielding.
George reaches the quarter-finals, with the other two getting as far as the last 16.
Doncastrian Ward claimed £250 for coming second, while Fielding took £20 home with him.
The Gold Cup was won by Garton, who beat Rob Lyons 4-3 to take the Superleague Singles title.
Nigel Sutton and ‘Eddie’ won the doubles, defeating finallists Gary Garton and Dusty Kettel.
In the ladies’ singles, Nadine Bentley beat Anne Archer.
Gill Gillett and Dot Whiton won the ladies’ doubles, seeing off Paula Storr and Angela Chambers.
It may not have been the defining moment of Taylor’s career, but they all count.