TAY­LOR IN DOU­BLE TOP SHAPE FOR CRACK AT PREM

Midweek Sport - - SPORT - By STEVE LIL­LIS

PHIL TAY­LOR has been saved from a HEART AT­TACK by glam­orous nutri­tion­ist Laura Church.

The ar­rows leg­end be­gins his cam­paign to win the Premier League to­mor­row for the sixth time since it started eight years ago.

Tay­lor is the great­est darts player of all time, but his reign as the oche’s an­swer to Muhammad Ali was rocked when Mark Web­ster beat him at last month’s world cham­pi­onships.

Laura, who is one of the coun­try’s top nu­tri­tion­ists and has been ro­man­ti­cally linked with Tay­lor, has helped him shed 16lbs since his shock Ally Pally pan­ning.

Fry-ups and beer have been re­placed by healthy grub – and Tay­lor ended more than a month on the wagon by al­low­ing him­self a small vodka last week­end.

“The Power” has shrunk from 17st 11lb to 16st 9lb in weeks and Church said: “I told him he’d end up with a heart at­tack or di­a­betic un­less he did some­thing. He was walk­ing up the stairs to do an in­ter­view and he was out of breath.”

The 15-times world champ and Laura are now mak­ing a TV doc­u­men­tary chart­ing his progress from tub o’ lard to lean, mean throw­ing ma­chine.

Tay­lor, 51, now eats five pro­tein-packed meals a day.

He told Mid­week Sport: “I got over the world cham­pi­onship loss in about five min­utes.

“I know ex­actly what I did wrong and how to put it right so I’m back in the gym and eat­ing healthy.

“Al­ready I’m more alert phys­i­cally and men­tally.”

Marathon

Tay­lor in­sists he’ll be back to his very best when he clashes with world cham­pion Adrian Lewis on the Premier League’s open­ing night at Manch­ester’s MEN Arena.

Stoke’s Tay­lor, who is book­ies’ favourite to land the £150,000 win­ner’s prize, added: “This is the one to bounce back in and show there’s plenty left.

“The Premier League is as great as the world cham­pi­onships. It’s a marathon and you win it by be­ing at your best for three or four months, not one week.

“I’ll still prac­tise ev­ery day, but for my age I don’t go mad. There’s not much I can do re­ally and a lot of my work will be done in the gym.”

Af­ter Tay­lor suf­fered his em­bar­rass­ing exit at the world cham­pi­onships, he ex­plored ev­ery av­enue to dis­cover his form – and even con­sid­ered eye surgery.

He wore glasses for a tour­na­ment in 2010, but quickly binned the gog­gles af­ter a loss against Ted Hankey.

Tay­lor said: “I went to the London eye clinic to see if any­thing could be done.

“For long dis­tance I was above av­er­age and my short­sight­ed­ness for read­ing has de­te­rio­r­i­ated, but it does for ev­ery­body as they get older. There was noth­ing they could re­ally do for me as there’s noth­ing wrong with my long-sight­ed­ness. “That again comes down to not eat­ing prop­erly and not hav­ing your blood sugar level right.”

Church warned the darts world: “That man is on a bloody mis­sion.

“I’ve worked with a lot of peo­ple and Phil has got the strong­est mind I’ve ever known.” PREMIER LEAGUE WEEK ONE: Andy Hamil­ton v James Wade, Si­mon Whit­lock v Ray­mond van Barn­eveld, Kevin Painter v Gary An­der­son, Adrian Lewis v Phil Tay­lor.

PRIZE GUY: Tay­lor with the Premier League tro­phy in 2010 PHIL TAY­LOR is fight­ing the flab with gru­elling gym ses­sions and calo­rie-crush­ing meals. Here, Phil gives

readers an ex­clu­sive in­sight into what he’s scoff­ing to help him re­gain top form... Por­ridge made with water and boiled eggs (4 whites, 1 egg) Small chicken breast in pitta bread with salad Noo­dles with fish or chicken, fol­lowed by gym ses­sion and a pro­tein shake meal Tuna stir fry fol­lowed by one vodka

SHOCKER: Mark Web­ster knocks Tay­lor out of the PDC cham­pi­onships

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