Former darts world champion Andy Fordham has died at the age of 59.
Nicknamed ‘The Viking’ , Fordham was one of the most recognisable figures on the circuit in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The Bristolian beat Mervyn King to win the BDO World Darts Championship at Lakeside in 2004 and also claimed the Winmau World Masters in 1999.
Fordham was plagued with health issues for much of his career and spoke publically about his struggles with his weight and alcohol. He was forced to pull out of a box office clash with PDC world champion Phil Taylor - billed as The Showdown - mid-match in 2004.
In 2020, Fordham underwent major bowel surgery and earlier this year he contracted coronavirus, after which he claimed he was “terrified of dying”.
Tributes have begun pouring in after he passed away on Thursday morning.
A BDO statement said: “The British Darts Organisation are deeply saddened to hear of the loss of the darts legend Andy (The Viking) Fordham, a true gentleman of the game who will deeply missed by all. Our hearts and thoughts are with his family at this time.”
Two-time world champion Adrian Lewis added: “Sad to hear the passing of a legend Andy Fordham our thoughts are with his family.”