DARTS legend Andy Fordham has died at the age of 59.
The Viking – a favourite on the British circuit – won the 2004 BDO World Darts Championship during an illustrious career.
Read our Andy Fordham blog for the latest updates on his deathAndy Fordham has passed away at the age of 59[/caption] The Viking won the 2004 BDO World Championship[/caption]
A spokesperson confirmed to SunSport that Fordham passed away in hospital on Thursday morning after suffering major organ failure.
Doctors were amazed at his ability to fight his health issues but his death has left wife Jenny and their family heartbroken.
Fordham famously once weighed 31 stone and downed 25 bottles of lager a day before tackling his health issues.
The Bristol-born thrower entered the scene with a run to the BDO semi-finals in 1995 before finally claiming the trophy nine years later, following a stunning comeback victory over Raymond van Barneveld in the semis.
He beat Mervyn King in the final to add the world crown to his 1999 Masters title.
That set up a Sky Box Office encounter with PDC champion Phil Taylor, which saw Fordham retire mid-game due to health concerns.
Despite shedding a colossal amount of weight, his darts career began to slump and he took time off to re-hone his skills.
Fordham made a number of attempts to return to the top but his final tournament came in March 2018 with a failed go at qualifying for the Masters.
Fordham even revealed his dream of returning to the oche once again.Born in 1962, Andy Fordham grew up in South-East London[/caption] Fordham was one of the most popular characters on the darts scene[/caption] Seen here in 2007, he had shed the pounds but struggled with health issues[/caption] Fordham last played in a tournament in 2018[/caption] Tributes have flooded in for the Viking, pictured here last year[/caption]
But, on Thursday, it was confirmed that he had passed away with wife Jenny by his side.
His family have asked well wishers to donate to the charity Heart of Darts.
Tributes have flooded in from across the sport for the Millwall fan, born in South-east London in 1962.
Fellow former world champ Adrian Lewis tweeted: “Sad to hear the passing of a legend Andy Fordham our thoughts are with his family.”
Lewis famously faced Fordham on his 2015 comeback at the Grand Slam of Darts, in which the Viking hit a 180 with his first three darts before succumbing to defeat.
Glen Durrant posted a photo of himself with Fordham in his tribute, and commented: “RIP Andy Fordham #Legend.”
Chris Dobey also tweeted a selfie with the Viking, with the caption: “Absolutely devastated to hear of the passing of this Legend, it was an absolute pleasure to have worked and shared a stage with a true gent.
“Will be such a miss to all involved with darts. RIP Andy Fordham.”
Bobby George stated: “Just heard the devastating news that Andy Fordham has passed away. He was a gentle giant and loved by all.
“Our condolences go out to his wife Jenny family and friends. RIP ANDY FORDHAM THE VIKING.”
Steve Beaton posted online: “So very saddened to hear of the passing away of Andy Fordham. Not only a great friend but a sporting legend who I had the pleasure of knowing for many a year. Our thoughts are with Jenny and the family. RIP my friend.”Fordham passed away with wife Jenny by his side on Thursday[/caption] The darts hero was a big football fan, supporting Millwall and Rangers[/caption]
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Kevin Painter wrote: “Absolutely devastated to hear the news that Andy Fordham has passed away,a darting legend and one of the nicest guys on the planet,thoughts are with the family at this time.. RIP Andy.”
Matthew Edgar added: “Sad to see the passing of a legend today. RIP Andy Fordham.”
World championship darts referee Huw Ware posted online: “Very sorry to hear of Andy Fordham’s passing. He was an outstanding dart player, a World Champion and a lovely, gentleman who was always a pleasure to work with. Condolences to all of his family and friends.”