Phil Taylor expressed his affection for Hull after nearly winning a tournament there in his darts comeback.

The Power had a dismal comeback to competitive action earlier this year, as they were eliminated early from the World Seniors Championship.

But he improved at his next event, reaching the World Seniors Masters final before losing to Canadian David Cameron.

And, over the weekend, he was the main attraction when Hull’s Bonus Arena hosted the World Seniors Matchplay, where he reached the final for the second time, only to lose 12-10 to World Seniors winner Robert Thornton in a dramatic match.

Taylor began his campaign on Friday night, defeating Deta Hedman 8-4, and did not return to the oche until Sunday afternoon, when he faced Peter Manley in the quarter-finals.

As a result, The Power spent his free Saturday exploring the charms of Hull, Yorkshire’s sole waterfront city with a population of roughly 320,000 people. He was taken aback by what he saw.

“I’ve loved today, absolutely love it, and I’ve loved Hull as well,” Taylor told Online Darts TV after the final.

“We had the chance to go round on Saturday and have a look at the town because you never really get the chance to see places [at tournaments]. I love it. One of my best friends, Joe Longthorne, was from Hull. I love this place.”

Singer Longthorne, one of Hull’s most famous sons, sadly passed away in 2019 at the age of 64.

Meanwhile, Taylor believes he has got his rivals “worried” with his performance at the Matchplay and has vowed to hit the practice board hard ahead of the next year’s World Seniors Championship in February.

“I can get better. I’ve got to go home now and improve. We’re going to go back at six in the morning so I can practice,” he said.

“So at 12 o’clock I’m going to get back on the practice board with Matthew, my grandson, and just practice a bit harder.”

Taylor believes his form will have caught the attention of his rivals on the World Seniors Tour, with the next event the World Championship at the Circus Tavern in February!

“The difference is now, they’re worried. Now they’re thinking ‘don’t get Phil, because Phil’s coming back. The one thing they’ve got on me is my finishing, my finishing was poor today, I was pushing it, pulling it, but it’s coming.”