Phil Taylor shocked by Rob Cross in PDC World Championship final

Rob Cross won the PDC World Championship in his debut season as a professional. Naomi Baker/Getty Images

The retiring Phil Taylor was denied a swansong goodbye as little-known Rob Cross produced a stunning performance to claim a maiden PDC World Darts Championship title.

Cross, a former electrician who hadn't even turned professional 12 months ago, shocked 16-time world champion Taylor on the grandest stage in darts with a crushing 7-2 victory at London's Alexandra Palace.

Taylor, 57 and universally seen as the greatest darts player in history, was looking to bow out with a 17th-world title, having reached his 21st world final overall, but even he could not cope with Cross' impressive scoring and finishing.

The Stoke ace, who won his first title in 1990 when Margaret Thatcher was still United Kingdom Prime Minister in 1990, was second best throughout but did wire double-12 for what would have been his first ever nine-dart finish at a PDC World Championship; one of the few accolades missing from his resume.

Cross, 27, from Hastings, advanced into a three-set lead that included a brilliant 167 finish on the bullseye and a 153 checkout. 'The Power' then hit back with his only set of the night, but Cross maintained his extraordinary level of performance to move into a five-set lead at 6-1.

From there, the damage was done and, despite a wobble in the eighth set, Cross held firm to win his first world crown and bring the curtain down on Taylor's illustrious career.

"It has been marvellous. I have had a fantastic career," he told Sky Sports. "The youngsters coming through now are fantastic. They are dedicated, young, they are fit and I cannot compete any more.

"He (Cross) was like me 25 years ago. He was good, he was relentless and doesn't stop putting you under pressure. That is what I used to be. He is a lot like myself, trust me.

"He is dedicated, he has listened and learned and some of the players next year have got a big problem. I don't think the money will make a scrap of difference, it is about winning, and that is like me.

"You have a little animal on your hands, I quite like him. He has that grit in his teeth."

Cross, without a tour card this time last year, fulfilled a dream by sharing the stage with Taylor.

And the new world champion spoke of his admiration for Taylor for what he has done for the sport.

"It is about him departing and that is why I let him lift the trophy with me," Cross said.

"He is phenomenal. It was my dream 15 years ago to play this guy and now I have played him. An absolute phenomenon.

"I was actually born in 1990, the coincidence that when he won his first ever world title I took my first breath of air. What he has done for the game, I hope he has a happy retirement and wish him all the best.

"You will not see another sportsman like him. You won't."