Andy Fordham has passed away aged 59.

Fans have paid their respects to the darts champion who died on Thursday morning, July 15th, surrounded by his wife.

We delve into his career over the years and take a look at his journey from his first breakout to his 2004 championship win and more.

Photo by Julian Herbert/Getty Images

Andy Fordham has died

Andy Fordham’s death was announced by BDO on Thursday, July 15th, 2021. He was 59 years old.

A statement shared by them on Facebook said: “We 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.”

Former darts player Bobby George paid his condolences on Twitter and wrote: “Just heard the devastating news that Andy Fordham has passed away. He was a gentle giant and loved by all. Our condolences go out to his wife Jenny family and friends. RIP ANDY FORDHAM THE VIKING.”

After making his breakthrough appearance in 1995, Andy won the 2004 BDO World Championship at the Lakeside where he won against Mervyn King.

In November of that year, the darts legend had to withdraw from a tournament due to health issues.

The weight loss journey of the darts legend

For many years, Andy had been fighting a drinking habit that reportedly began after starting a pub business with his wife.

“Maybe it was one of the worst things that could have happened to me, becoming world champion,” he said in a 2009 interview referring to his 2004 win (via Independent).

“I wasn’t used to the limelight. I was so shocked, I’d drink to cover it. You’d get invited here, there and everywhere and everything’s free. Drink is everywhere. I just enjoyed drinking. In the end I p***** away everything I earned.”

Andy reportedly drank a flask of brand and 24 bottles of beer before his Lakeside match in 2004. The darts legend lost 10 stones a couple of years after that to tackle his health problems.

He suffered a stroke in 2007 after collapsing before his match at the world championships.

Andy then took time off from his career to focus on his health and occasionally appeared at several tournaments.

One of his latest and memorable TV appearances was at the 2015 Grand Slam of Darts.

Andy Fordham’s wife

Andy’s wife is called Jenny. They met back in the 1980 and got engaged in 1982.

They were married for 21 years.

The couple welcomed two children together, called Ray and Emily, and five grandchildren.

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