Andy Fordham dead latest – Darts legend known as 'Viking' passes away with cause of death not yet revealed

DARTS legend Andy Fordham has passed away at the age of 59.

A favourite of the British darts circuit, the Viking won the 2004 BDO World Darts Championship during a prestigious career.

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 semi-final comeback victory over Raymond van Barneveld.

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.

Fordham once weighed 31 stone and downed 25 bottles of lager a day before tackling his health issues.

Despite shedding the pounds and battling, his darts career began to slump and he took time off to re-hone his skills.

Read our Andy Fordham live blog for the latest updates

  • John Hall

    COVID WORRIES

    In January Andy urged people to wear masks and follow the rules, saying: “In the past year I’ve rarely been out.

    "But on the rare occasions I have the amount of people you see not wearing a mask or social distancing is terrifying.

    "It’s vital people follow the rules and I’d beg them to make sure they do – for their – and everyone else's – sakes.”

  • John Hall

    DEVASTATED

    Andy had recently suffered the loss of a close pal dying from covid. 

    Fordham explained in January: “He was a mutual friend of mine and Dennis Priestley. He was around the circuit and would travel with Dennis. 

    “The three of us were all at an exhibition in January last year at the Excel in London.

    "Then, just a few weeks later, I got a call to tell me he’d died. I was devastated as he was such a lovely man.”

  • John Hall

    DEATH FEARS

    In January Fordham said: “I look down the stairs and can see my dart board in the hall but I haven’t played for nearly a year. 

    “I miss it but right now the only thing I am focused on is beating this virus. I am really worried about giving the virus to my family.

    “I am staying in my bedroom because my wife, Jenny, has had cancer twice and my father-in-law who lives with us is 87 and is severely disabled. 

    “When you get the virus you suddenly realise everything you take for granted.

    "I am sitting thinking a lot about all the things I’d miss if this virus overcomes me, like seeing my grandchildren grow up.

    "I’m just hoping and praying I come through it.”

  • [email protected]

    DARTS LEGEND RECENTLY RECOVERED FROM COVID

    The popular 2004 BDO World Champion said he was 'terrified of dying' after catching the killer virus.

    The 58-year-old ex-pub landlord, who once weighed 31 stone, had his share of medical and health issues in recent years.

    The Viking tweeted earlier this year: “Well, had a few scares in my time but opening that email and seeing you have tested positive for Covid just cripples you.

    “I’ve had a few rough days but hopefully well on the mend.

    “I thank everyone who sent get well messages they mean a lot and please stay safe.”

  • John Hall

    FINAL MONTHS

    Andy, who spent his last years teetotal, weighed around 21 stone in January but still suffered from a serious liver condition.

    Due to a groin injury, Fordham also struggled to walk without pain. 

    In January he revealed he hadn't thrown a dart in more than a year.

  • [email protected]

    HOW MANY DARTS TITLES DID HE WIN?

    Fordham was a superb player who was hugely popular with fans.

    And his talent arguably deserved more than the one BDO World Championship he won in 2004.

    During his career, Fordham won the following darts titles:

    • BDO World Championship – 2004
    • BDO Masters – 1999
    • British Matchplay – 1995
    • British Pentathlon – 1998, 2003
    • Finnish Open – 1994
    • Isle of Man Open – 1995
    • Norway Open – 1995, 2000
    • Swiss Open – 1994
    • Welsh Open – 2002

    WEIGHT CRISIS

    Andy – who once weighed 31 stone and downed 25 bottles of lager a day – had spoken openly about his health issues. 

    In 2009, he got his weight down to 16 stone but last year he ballooned back up to 28 stone. 

    In February 2020, it led to him being rushed to hospital where an operation on his bowel led to him having 16 litres of fluid drained from his body. 

    COVID HELL

    Andy, nicknamed the Viking during a glittering career as a pro darts player which saw him win the world title in 2004, had been doing all he could to be careful last year.

    But he thinks he got the virus following a recent trip to a nearby chemist. 

    After starting to develop a cough he was diagnosed with the virus and spent days self-isolating in a bedroom

    WHO IS HIS WIFE JENNY?

    Andy and his wife Jenny met way back in the early 1980s and were engaged in 1982.

    But it wasn't until 2000 that the couple finally tied the knot.

    The pair have two children together – Ray and Emily – as well as five grandchildren.

    • John Hall

      HIT BY VIRUS

      In January Fordham told SunSport: “Right now I am just about coping.

      “But I spoke to my doctor who warned me the virus can hit you very quickly. 

      “My biggest fear is waking up one morning, not being able to breathe and being placed in the back of the ambulance – then not seeing my wife and children again.”

    • John Hall

      COVID FEARS

      Fordham recently admitted he was 'terrified of dying' after being diagnosed with coronavirus. 

      The 58-year-old, who has been beset by health problems in recent years, told The Sun: “This is the scariest thing I’ve ever had to face in my life.” 

      In an emotional interview the former world champion broke down in tears as he explained how a doctor has warned him he faces a make-or-break few days. 

      Andy pulled through but would be dead just six months later

    • John Hall

      TRIBUTES FLOOD IN

      Tributes have flooded in for the oche star from across the sport.

      Fellow former world champ Adrian Lewis tweeted: “Sad to hear the passing of a legend Andy Fordham our thoughts are with his family.”

    • John Hall

      HEALTH BATTLE

      Last year, the Viking was hospitalised with a bowel blockage before he was struck by coronavirus.

      Fordham even revealed his dream of returning to the oche once again.

      But, on Thursday, it was confirmed that he had passed away with wife Jenny by his side.

    • John Hall

      RISE TO FAME

      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 semi-final comeback victory over Raymond van Barneveld.

      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.

    • John Hall

      WEIGHT BATTLE

      Fordham once weighed 31 stone and downed 25 bottles of lager a day before tackling his health issues.

      Despite shedding the pounds and battling, his darts career began to slump and he took time off to re-hone his skills.

    • John Hall

      'DEVASTATED'

      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."

    • John Hall

      KING OF DARTS

      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."

    • John Hall

      TRIBUTES FLOOD IN

      Tributes have flooded in for the oche star from across the sport.

      Fellow former world champ Adrian Lewis tweeted: "Sad to hear the passing of a legend Andy Fordham our thoughts are with his family."

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