Darts hero Andy Fordhams cause of death named as organ failure

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The darts community continues to mourn the passing of former fan favourite Andy Fordham, who died in hospital on Thursday as a result of ‘major organ failure’, a spokesperson has said.

Fordham was 59 at the time of his death and was attempting to address some of the health issues built up over the course of his 28-year professional career.

The former BDO world champion—who once weighed 31 stone—was famous for downing beers en masse before competing and won hearts after appearing on Celebrity Fit Club in 2004.

Fordham underwent bowel surgery in 2020 to remove a blockage before contracting Covid-19 in early 2021, but The Sun reported major organ failure to be the official cause of death.

The Bristol-born athlete arguably should have won more titles during his career, and Fordham was enrolled to participate in the 2022 World Seniors Darts Championship.

Two-time PDC world darts champion Adrian Lewis tweeted his respects after news first emerged of Fordham’s death: “Sad to hear the passing of a legend Andy Fordham our thoughts are with his family.”

Another of the sport’s most famous figures, Bobby George, 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.”

Former world No. 1 and 1996 BDO world champion Steve Beaton posted a photo of Fordham from earlier in his career, alongside the message: “So very saddened to hear of the passing away of Andy Fordham. Not only a great friend but a sporting legend who I had the pleasure of knowing for many a year. Our thoughts are with Jenny and the family. RIP my friend.”

What was your favourite highlight from Andy Fordham's darts career? Let us know in the comments section.

The 1999 World Masters champion was a regular on the BDO circuit from 1990 until 2009, rejoining the league four years later after a brief stint with the rival PDC.

Fordham spoke fearfully of the coronavirus after testing positive at the start of this year, telling The Sun: “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.”

Former rival Kevin Painter also paid tribute to his old peer: “Absolutely devastated to hear the news that Andy Fordham has passed away, a darting legend and one of the nicest guys on the planet, thoughts are with the family at this time.. RIP Andy.”

Cheered on by a loyal fan base, Fordham won the 2004 BDO world title in what was his 10th appearance at the tournament, having finished as a semi-finalist on four other occasions.

He lost 7-1 to Phil Taylor in the 2005 Masters of Darts tournament but never managed to regain his place among the sport’s elite.

Fordham’s wife, Jenny, was by his side at the time of his death and posted via his official Twitter account, thanking fans and professionals for the outpouring of support: “This us (sic) Jenny thank you all so much for your kind words Andy was is and always will be my champion.”

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