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Darts icon and former world champion Andy Fordham dies, aged 59

BREAKING NEWS: Darts icon and former world champion Andy Fordham dies, aged 59, months after revealing he was ‘terrified’ of death following health battles from weighing 31 stone and downing 25 bottles of lager a day

Darts legend Andy Fordham has passed away aged 59, months after admitting that he was ‘terrified’ of death after being beset by health problems in recent years.

At the peak of his career, the Viking was crowned world champion in 2004 after defeating Mervyn King at the BDO World Championship.  

Fordham faced health problems during his life and once weighed 31 stone, revealing that he would drink 25 bottles of lager a day. 

He contracted coronavirus in January this year and revealed to The Sun that doctors warned him that the disease could hit him ‘very quickly’.

‘This is the scariest thing I’ve ever had to face in my life,’ he said. 

‘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.’  

Darts icon and former world champion Andy Fordham dies, aged 59

The Bristol-born darts icon died on Thursday with his wife, Jenny, by his side.  

Following Fordham’s world championship triumph, he faced off against Phil Taylor in a box office clash titled The Showdown. The 59-year-old was taken unwell during the match and defaulted at 5-2 with health concerns raised after it came to light that he would drink heavily before taking to the oche.  

Fordham’s final professional appearance came in 2018 at the World Masters. He was hospitalised in March 2020 with a bowel problem, leading to him having 16 litres of fluid drained from his body. 

Tributes have poured in for the fan-favourite from the world of darts. 

‘Absolutely devasted [sic] 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,’ Kevin Painter tweeted.

Former world champion Adrian Lewis said: ‘Sad to hear the passing of a legend Andy Fordham our thoughts are with his family.’

‘Such sad news that Andy Fordham has died. A true legend and gentleman of the sport. My thoughts are with his family and friends,’ Rob Cross posted on Twitter. 

More to follow. 

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