An "incredible story" - Dave Clark on Rob Cross' meteoric dart to the top

Sky Sports presenter chats to Joe about the man who beat the great Phil Taylor

BY Raf Diallo 20:01 Wednesday 3 January 2018, 20:01 3 Jan 2018

Rob Cross celebrates wining against Phil Taylor during day fifteen of the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London. Steven Paston/PA Wire/PA Images

Phil Taylor almost ended a remarkable career on a high but Rob Cross defied 'The Power's bid for a 17th darts World Championship on Monday night.

Cross has been tipped to add to his maiden title in the future by Taylor himself but tonight, we were joined by Sky Sports' darts presenter Dave Clark to discuss that and Taylor's legacy within the sport. 

You can listen to the full interview on the podcast player: 

"Ridiculously good," said Clark of Cross.

"He averaged 107.67 in the final. Taylor's average 110 in a final before, but blowing away Taylor in that manner shows what an amazing story it was. He was a pub player three years ago, went to qualifying school, beat everybody there, played in the UK Open, gave Van Gerwen a bit of a match. Last February, he won 250 quid in his first week as a professional darts player. He's now gone and won 400 grand, the Sid Waddell Trophy, entering the Premier League and he's probably worth 2 million quid this year, Rob Cross, for a 27 year old who was an electrician sparky picking up 100 quid a day... he's gone on and he's going to become a millionaire by the end of the year."     

Clark added that what was even more of a fairytale was that Cross' hero was the legendary Taylor, yet as he added the emerging talent "knows no nerves" en route to completing an "incredible story".

While Taylor didn't get his fairytale ending, his legacy will still cast a shadow given his huge success.

"I think the sport is in a good space. Thank goodness for Michael van Gerwen is all I'll say because if Taylor had gone and there was no Van Gerwen, then we would have had a problem in the sport," said Clark.

"Tickets sales have proved that people want to see darts even without Taylor but we will miss him. I mean, that walk on, the invincibility... I've done darts on Sky Sports for 15 years and I've seen the Taylor years and at his absolute pomp and he'd be on a three-figure check out and you just know he's going to get it. He'd intimidate the opponent before he got up there."   

Clark added that if it was any other sport than darts, Taylor's achievements would lead him to be viewed as arguably "the greatest sportsman in the world ever".

In the full interview, Clark discussed how Taylor developed into the greatest player of his time as well as his own brave battle against Parkinson's Disease and you can listen in full on the podcast player.

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