ANDY FORDHAM DIES AGED 59
Andy Fordham, the former darts world champion, has died aged 59, just months after admitting that he was “terrified” about a string of alcohol-related health problems.
Fordham, who was known as “the Viking” and once weighed 31 stone, suffered from numerous issues over the course of his career including severe chest pains and breathing difficulties, a minor stroke and cirrhosis. Renowned among fans for his drinking, he described a typical day as one where he would down 25 bottles of lager and half a bottle of whisky, brandy or vodka. As a pre-match routine Fordham, known as “the whippet” as a teenager for his slim physique, would also eat six savoury pies.
Fordham was crowned world champion in 2004 after defeating Mervyn King at the BDO World Championship but when he faced Phil Taylor in an event dubbed “the showdown” a year later, he collapsed. After this he cut down on his consumption, losing 14 stone with the help of his wife, Jenny, and their two children, Raymond and Emily, and returned to darts in 2007.
His final professional appearance came in 2018 at the World Masters but he was admitted to hospital two years later with a bowel problem, leading to him having 16 litres of fluid drained from his body.
At the time he told The Sun newspaper he would “keep fighting until I can’t fight any more”.
He said: “There have been a few things gone wrong and it’s all down to alcohol. If you drink too much, have a look at my story you see it isn’t worth it. I’m not proud of it. It doesn’t just ruin your life, it can also ruin many other people’s lives too.”