Former World Champion, Andy Fordham has sadly passed away at the age of 59, it can be revealed.
‘The Viking’ won the 2004 BDO World Championship defeating Mervyn King in the final in the crowning glory in his career alongside the 1999 Winmau World Masters.
After winning the 2004 final, Fordham faced off with Phil Taylor in a match billed as The Showdown and shown on Sky Box Office but the former was taken unwell during the match being defaulted at 5-2 with health concerns raised after it was revealed that he regularly consumed 24 bottles of lager before he went on stage.
He made two final appearances at the Lakeside in 2005 and 2006 before health issues saw him not able to take to the stage for the final time he qualified back in 2007 to face his 2006 opponent, Simon Whitlock.
Time away from the oche followed with Fordham returning in low key tournaments before mounting a charge to attempt to qualify for the 2008 World Championship but he lost out in the Last 128.
A move to the PDC followed which lasted between 2009-2011 without much success before he returned to the BDO, but it was the former that gave Fordham one of his lasting moments towards the back end of his darting career.
In October 2015, he advanced through a field of almost 200 players to qualify for the Grand Slam of Darts when they were based around one shot qualifiers. He was unable to qualify from a group consisting of Adrian Lewis, Michael Smith and Wayne Jones. A win against the latter was his first in over ten years stretching back to February 2005.
It produced a brilliant moment though against Lewis where he returned to the stage to fanfare and hit a 180 first shot.
He played the BDO Tour from there before his last tournament in 2018 at the World Masters. Back in March last year, he was in hospital with a bowel blockage and was set for an operation.
This was followed by testing positive for Coronavirus in early 2021 which he said was the ‘scariest thing’ he had to face.
But seemingly Fordham was plotting a return to the oche as he entered the World Seniors Darts Championship field for next year which would have seen ‘The Viking’ join his fellow legends on stage at the Circus Tavern but that sadly wasn’t to be as he passed away on Thursday morning with his wife, Jenny at his side.