DARTS legend Andy Fordham passed away last week at the age of 59 after suffering major organ failure.

A spokesperson confirmed to SunSport that The Viking passed away in hospital on Thursday morning after suffering major organ failure.

It was revealed how the popular thrower last year underwent major bowel surgery before contracting Covid-19 at the start of 2021.

A favourite of the British darts circuit, Fordham won the 2004 BDO World Darts Championship during a prestigious and full-throttle career.

Fordham once weighed 31 stone and downed 25 bottles of lager a day before tackling his health issues – but despite shedding the pounds, his darts career began to slump and he took time off to re-hone his skills.

Read our Andy Fordham live blog for the latest updates

  • HIT BY VIRUS

    In January Fordham told SunSport: “Right now I am just about coping.

    “But I spoke to my doctor who warned me the virus can hit you very quickly. 

    “My biggest fear is waking up one morning, not being able to breathe and being placed in the back of the ambulance – then not seeing my wife and children again.”

  • A GENTLE GIANT LOVED BY RIVALS

    His walk-on tune was I’m Too Sexy by Right Said Fred but for so long he was the nearly man of the oche with four semi-final defeats until he finally got his hands of the famous old trophy.

    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.

    The docs advice led Fordham to seek help and assistance with TV programme Celebrity Fit Club, where he became friends with the journalist and TV presenter Paul Ross.

  • HOW MANY DARTS TITLES DID HE WIN?

    Fordham was a superb player who was hugely popular with fans.

    And his talent arguably deserved more than the one BDO World Championship he won in 2004.

    During his career, Fordham won the following darts titles:

    • BDO World Championship – 2004
    • BDO Masters – 1999
    • British Matchplay – 1995
    • British Pentathlon – 1998, 2003
    • Finnish Open – 1994
    • Isle of Man Open – 1995
    • Norway Open – 1995, 2000
    • Swiss Open – 1994
    • Welsh Open – 2002
  • THE DARTS LEGEND HAD SUFFERED WITH A BLOCKAGE IN HIS BOWELS

    SunSport revealed that in 2020 the 2004 BDO World Darts Champion was recovering at home in South-East London after being discharged from hospital following a blockage in his bowels.

    Andy Fordham is pictured below when he was in hospital in March last year.

    He was told by doctors he would need surgery.

    It is not yet known how he sadly died.

  • FAMILY HAS ASKED DONATIONS TO GO TO CHARITY HEART OF DARTS

    His family have asked well wishers to donate to the charity Heart of Darts.

    Tributes have flooded in from across the sport for the Millwall fan, born in South-east London in 1962.

    Fellow former world champ Adrian Lewis tweeted: “Sad to hear the passing of a legend Andy Fordham our thoughts are with his family.”

  • HOW DID ANDY FORDHAM EARN HIS NICKNAME ‘THE VIKING’?

    It was Bobby George who gave Andy Fordham the nickname The Viking.

    Weighing 30 stone at his fighting peak, with a big beard, long hair and a 20-bottle-a-day thirst, the 2004 BDO world darts champion looked like the sort of chap who held a gold card at Valhalla after accruing so many pillaging points.

    “He was a cartoon character with forearms as thick as most people’s legs,” George said after Fordham died, aged 59.

    “You expected him to be carrying a huge sword.”

  • WHAT WERE ANDY FORDHAM’S FINAL COMPETITION APPEARANCES?

    The Viking 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.

    It was no surprise that he was beset by health problems throughout his career. In January 2007, he collapsed while preparing for the opening match of the BDO Worlds.

    He was rushed to hospital after suffering with severe chest pains and breathing issues, and had a minor stroke.

  • ANDY FORDHAM OBITUARY

    ANDY FORDHAM went into sporting folklore for being a darts world champion and downing 24 bottles of lager a day.

    But he was the huge character that everyone raised a glass to in all walks of life.

    Fordham delivered his finest hour by beating Mervyn King to win the Lakeside World Championship in 2004.

    But his cult status fare outgrew his ability with a set of darts. He was a gentle giant of a man, loved by his rivals and fans.

    His walk-on tune was I’m Too Sexy by Right Said Fred but for so long he was the nearly man of the oche with four semi-final defeats until he finally got his hands of the famous old trophy.

    Read more here.

  • FORDHAM’S BATTLE WITH ALCOHOL

    He had always been known as a big drinker, making him a much-loved fan-favourite.

    According to the Daily Mail Fordham once drank 62 bottles of Pils after celebrating he and his wife Jenny’s first wedding anniversary in 2001. 

    While appearing on Celebrity Fit Club in 2004, Fordham revealed he gave up drinking beer and instead drank six bottles of wine a day while on a five-day stag do in Tenerife.

    Despite his struggles he went on to win the programme’s biggest loser challenge, losing more than three stone in weight.

  • FORDHAM’S HEALTH BATTLES

    Last year, the Viking was hospitalised with a bowel blockage before he was struck by coronavirus.

    Fordham even revealed his dream of returning to the oche once again.

    But, on Thursday, it was confirmed that he had passed away with wife Jenny by his side

  • WHAT WERE ANDY FORDHAM’S FINAL COMPETITION APPEARANCES?

    The Viking 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.

    It was no surprise that he was beset by health problems throughout his career. In January 2007, he collapsed while preparing for the opening match of the BDO Worlds.

    He was rushed to hospital after suffering with severe chest pains and breathing issues, and had a minor stroke.

  • FORDHAM LAST PLAYED DARTS 13 YEARS AGO – BUT WOULD HAVE ‘LOVED’ TO HAVE THROWN AGAIN

    Fordham last played at the Lakeside world champs 13 years ago and made a memorable appearance at the 2015 Grand Slam of Darts.

    But he accepted his career was blighted by heavy boozing, which meant that he never capitalised on that BDO world title.

    He once drunk up to 24 bottles of lager before a match, and revealed he had not given up hope of playing on the big stage once again.

    He told Winmau TV: “I had a few goes on the dartboard. It’s slowly picking up. I won’t say I’ll be back to tournament standard but without trying you don’t know.

    “I’d love to play again. I remember the British Open in Bridlington a few years back.”

  • HOW MANY DARTS TITLES DID HE WIN?

    Fordham was a superb player who was hugely popular with fans.

    And his talent arguably deserved more than the one BDO World Championship he won in 2004.

    During his career, Fordham won the following darts titles:

    • BDO World Championship – 2004
    • BDO Masters – 1999
    • British Matchplay – 1995
    • British Pentathlon – 1998, 2003
    • Finnish Open – 1994
    • Isle of Man Open – 1995
    • Norway Open – 1995, 2000
    • Swiss Open – 1994
    • Welsh Open – 2002
  • FORDHAM RECENTLY ADMITTED HE WAS ‘TERRIFIED OF DYING’ AFTER BEING DIAGNOSED WITH CORONAVIRUS

    Fordham recently admitted he was ‘terrified of dying’ after being diagnosed with coronavirus. 

    The 58-year-old, who has been beset by health problems in recent years, told The Sun: “This is the scariest thing I’ve ever had to face in my life.” 

    In an emotional interview the former world champion broke down in tears as he explained how a doctor has warned him he faces a make-or-break few days. 

    Andy pulled through but would be dead just six months later

  • ANDY RECENTLY THANKED FANS FOR SUPPORT AFTER RECOVERING FROM COVID

    In an emotional interview with SunSport earlier this year, the former world champion broke down in tears as he explained how a doctor had warned him he faced a make-or-break few days. 

    Fordham told SunSport: “Right now I am just about coping.

    “But I spoke to my doctor who warned me the virus can hit you very quickly. 

    “My biggest fear is waking up one morning, not being able to breathe and being placed in the back of the ambulance – then not seeing my wife and children again.”

    Despite recovering from Covid, the darts legend sadly passed away following organ failure just 6 months after battling the virus

  • WHAT WERE ANDY FORDHAM’S FINAL COMPETITION APPEARANCES?

    The Viking 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.

    It was no surprise that he was beset by health problems throughout his career. In January 2007, he collapsed while preparing for the opening match of the BDO Worlds.

    He was rushed to hospital after suffering with severe chest pains and breathing issues, and had a minor stroke.

  • ANDY FORDHAM OBITUARY

    ANDY FORDHAM went into sporting folklore for being a darts world champion and downing 24 bottles of lager a day.

    But he was the huge character that everyone raised a glass to in all walks of life.

    Fordham delivered his finest hour by beating Mervyn King to win the Lakeside World Championship in 2004.

    But his cult status fare outgrew his ability with a set of darts. He was a gentle giant of a man, loved by his rivals and fans.

    His walk-on tune was I’m Too Sexy by Right Said Fred but for so long he was the nearly man of the oche with four semi-final defeats until he finally got his hands of the famous old trophy.

    Read more here.

  • HOW MANY DARTS TITLES DID ANDY FORDHAM WIN?

    Fordham was a superb player who was hugely popular with fans.

    And his talent arguably deserved more than the one BDO World Championship he won in 2004.

    During his career, Fordham won the following darts titles:

    • BDO World Championship – 2004
    • BDO Masters – 1999
    • British Matchplay – 1995
    • British Pentathlon – 1998, 2003
    • Finnish Open – 1994
    • Isle of Man Open – 1995
    • Norway Open – 1995, 2000
    • Swiss Open – 1994
    • Welsh Open – 2002
  • A GENTLE GIANT LOVED BY RIVALS

    His walk-on tune was I’m Too Sexy by Right Said Fred but for so long he was the nearly man of the oche with four semi-final defeats until he finally got his hands of the famous old trophy.

    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.

    The docs advice led Fordham to seek help and assistance with TV programme Celebrity Fit Club, where he became friends with the journalist and TV presenter Paul Ross.

  • DARTS LEGEND ANDY FORDHAM VOWS TO FIGHT UNTIL HE ‘CAN’T ANY MORE’ AS HE FACES LIFE-SAVING BOWEL OPERATION

    Darts legend Andy Fordham vows to fight until he ‘can’t any more’ as he faces life-saving bowel operation
  • ANDY FORDHAM’S BATTLE WITH ALCOHOL

    He had always been known as a big drinker, making him a much-loved fan-favourite.

    According to the Daily Mail Fordham once drank 62 bottles of Pils after celebrating he and his wife Jenny’s first wedding anniversary in 2001.

    While appearing on Celebrity Fit Club in 2004, Fordham revealed he gave up drinking beer and instead drank six bottles of wine a day while on a five-day stag do in Tenerife.

    Despite his struggles he went on to win the programme’s biggest loser challenge, losing more than three stone in weight.

  • WEIGHT CRISIS

    Andy – who once weighed 31 stone and downed 25 bottles of lager a day – had spoken openly about his health issues.

    In 2009, he got his weight down to 16 stone but last year he ballooned back up to 28 stone.

    In February 2020, it led to him being rushed to hospital where an operation on his bowel led to him having 16 litres of fluid drained from his body.

  • FORDHAM’S HEALTH BATTLES

    Last year, the Viking was hospitalised with a bowel blockage before he was struck by coronavirus.

    Fordham even revealed his dream of returning to the oche once again.

    But, on Thursday, it was confirmed that he had passed away with wife Jenny by his side

  • HOW DID ANDY FORDHAM EARN HIS NICKNAME ‘THE VIKING’?

    It was Bobby George who gave Andy Fordham the nickname The Viking.

    Weighing 30 stone at his fighting peak, with a big beard, long hair and a 20-bottle-a-day thirst, the 2004 BDO world darts champion looked like the sort of chap who held a gold card at Valhalla after accruing so many pillaging points.

    “He was a cartoon character with forearms as thick as most people’s legs,” George said after Fordham died, aged 59.

    “You expected him to be carrying a huge sword.”

  • HOW DID ANDY FORDHAM EARN HIS NICKNAME ‘THE VIKING’?

    It was Bobby George who gave Andy Fordham the nickname The Viking.

    Weighing 30 stone at his fighting peak, with a big beard, long hair and a 20-bottle-a-day thirst, the 2004 BDO world darts champion looked like the sort of chap who held a gold card at Valhalla after accruing so many pillaging points.

    “He was a cartoon character with forearms as thick as most people’s legs,” George said after Fordham died, aged 59.

    “You expected him to be carrying a huge sword.”