“The darting world will be without Andy Fordham”

“The darting world will be without Andy Fordham”

Sky Sports pundits Wayne Mardle (Sky Sports) and John Part (Sky Sports) pay tribute to Andy Fordham, darting legend who died after a lengthy battle with his health. Part said that Fordham had “a talent for certain and he knew it.”

Last updated: 18.07.21 at 2:11 pm

The Winter Gardens crowd and Wayne Mardle pay tribute to the legendary 2004 BDO world champion Andy Fordham

Sky Sports


The Winter Gardens crowd and Wayne Mardle pay tribute to the legendary 2004 BDO world champion Andy Fordham
Wayne Mardle and the Winter Gardens crowd pay tribute to Andy Fordham, 2004 BDO World Champion

Andy Fordham has passed away, but he will not be forgotten. Wayne Mardle said that the darting community will be missing a great legend, after Andy Fordham died at 59. He had been fighting for his health for many years.

Fordham was a popular player in the sport, and was crowned the 2004 BDO World Champion at Lakeside. He defeated Mervyn Kings in an exciting final.

He was nicknamed “The Viking” and is instantly identifiable for his massive frame. At one time, his weight was 31stone.

Mardle, speaking during the World Matchplay, recalled the moment he had to share a bed in a hotel with Fordham.

We were in Holland doing exhibitions from 2000 through 2006. I have shared rooms with Andy, and one night we even shared a bed. Mardle laughed that there was some confusion with our hotel rooms.

He was a joy to be with. “He was an entertaining character. He was a brilliant and masterful darts player, but he was also a great human being. He will be missed by me and all darting fans.

Fordham, the oldest of four children, was born in Bristol in 1992. He grew up south-east London.

He fell in love with darts when he discovered pubs. The two remained close friends for most of his adult life. He was always open to a free drink, even though he had been in the limelight for a lot of public appearances.

Fordham was taken to the hospital during Phil Taylor’s champion of champions meeting, months after his win of the world title.

Doctors told him that his liver had been destroyed by 75% and the remainder was in good condition. He also advised that he stop drinking right away. Fordham struggled with his health, and in 2020 he needed a lifesaving operation to remove the colon.

He was so lucky that I allowed him to win. Being a friend, it was wonderful to be able to play Andy in final. It was something we had been close friends for many years. It was a game that I don’t remember much about, except for the 101 checkout and the winning dart where I hit the double win.

Mervyn Kings, Lakeside finalist loses to Mervyn King

John Part, a three-time champion of the world in swimming, was an old friend of Fordham and paid tribute to the Viking.

According to the Canadian, “From my first trip to England for the Welsh Open in 1994 after winning the BDO tournament in 1994, I was living with Martin Adams. We were driving from Peterborough to Wales when we met Andy.

Andy and I had an extended car ride together so that we could get to know each other. Andy was a joy to get to know. There were no problems or any other emotions than laughter and joy.

We soon discovered how good he was at darts. He was a formidable opponent and extremely gifted around 1994, when I was playing. It took him 10 more years to be a world champion. Although it was not surprising, many people were shocked that he took so long to become a world champion.

He knew he had talent.

Part remembered Fordham’s victory at Lakeside and said: “I remember Andy being so solid that year. His consistency and hard work were unbeatable. He was a formidable wall. He was a wall that it would have been impossible to overcome in the same year.

Andy was always a pleasure to be with. It was much more informal and casual back then. Maybe the lives of players and we had more fun back then.

Andy would be friends with everybody and, besides the darts playing, would talk about the drinks he had tried. His personality was never tainted. His gentle nature was truly admirable.”

Sky Sports has nine days of World Matchplay coverage from Winter Gardens, continuing through Sunday, July 25, with Darts. Daily Darts news is available on skysports.com/darts. You can also download our mobile app and follow @skysportsdarts.

Publiated at Sun, 18 July 2021 at 13:00:00 +0000

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