Andy Fordham dead latest – Darts legend's cause of death revealed as major organ failure as stars pay tribute

DARTS legend Andy Fordham has died at the age of 59.

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

Doctors were amazed at his ability to fight his health issues but his death has left wife Jenny and their family heartbroken.

A favourite of the British darts circuit, the Viking won the 2004 BDO World Darts Championship during a prestigious career.

Fordham once weighed 31 stone and downed 25 bottles of lager a day before tackling his health issues.

Despite shedding the pounds and battling, 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

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    FAMILY HAS ASKED DONATIONS TO GO TO CHARITY HEART OF DARTS

    His family has 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.”

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    KING OF DARTS

    Lewis famously faced Fordham on his 2015 comeback at the Grand Slam of Darts, in which the Viking hit a 180 with his first three darts before succumbing to defeat.

    Glen Durrant posted a photo of himself with Fordham in his tribute, and commented: “RIP Andy Fordham #Legend.”

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    ANDY ONLY 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.

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    ANDY FORDHAM SUFFERED MAJOR ORGAN FAILURE

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    FINAL STAGES OF HIS CAREER

    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.

    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.

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    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.

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    HE WAS ONCE KNOWN FOR HIS SLENDER FRAME AS A TEENAGER

    As a teenager, Andy grew up in Charlton, south east London, and was nick named “The Whippet” according to the MailOnline.

    His slender build led him to have a keen passion for track-and-field events as well as football.

    He told MailOnline of his weight reaching 31st: ‘I never ate a lot, but I ate badly, grabbing convenience foods – takeaways, pizzas, kebabs – because I was always so busy. 

    ‘If I was working behind the bar, I’d snack on peanuts or crisps, and I never exercised. And then there was the drinking.

    ‘Looking back, I realise I was an alcoholic. I couldn’t stop myself. I thought I was in control but I wasn’t. 

    ‘I would start drinking as soon as I went downstairs to open up the bar, at around 11am.”

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    DRINKING BATTLE

    He had always been known as a big drinker, making him a muched 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 replaced 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.

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    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.”

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    ANDY ONLY 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.

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    DARTS LEGEND PASSES AWAY FROM ORGAN FAILURE

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

    Doctors were amazed at his ability to fight his health issues but his death has left wife Jenny and their family heartbroken.

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    TRIBUTE FROM BOBBY GEORGE

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    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

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    EARLIER THIS YEAR 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.

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    FORDHAM WOULD HAVE LOVED TO PLAY 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.”

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    COVID FEARS

    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.

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    WEIGHT BATTLE

    Fordham once weighed 31 stone and downed 25 bottles of lager a day before tackling his health issues.

    Despite shedding the pounds and battling, his darts career began to slump and he took time off to re-hone his skills.

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    TRIBUTES FLOOD IN

    Tributes have flooded in for the oche star from across the sport.

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

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    HE WON THE 2004 BDO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

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    RISE TO FAME

    The Bristol-born thrower entered the scene with a run to the BDO semi-finals in 1995 before finally claiming the trophy nine years later, following a stunning semi-final comeback victory over Raymond van Barneveld.

    He beat Mervyn King in the final to add the world crown to his 1999 Masters title.

    That set up a Sky Box Office encounter with PDC champion Phil Taylor, which saw Fordham retire mid-game due to health concerns.

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    WATCH: FORMER STAR DIES AGED 59

    Former world darts champion Andy Fordham dies at 59

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    BOBBY GEORGE LEADS TRIBUTES

    Bobby George has led tributes to ‘gentle giant’ Andy Fordham after the darts legend died aged 59.

    A spokesman for the former BDO World Darts champion confirmed ‘The Viking’ passed away on Thursday morning at hospital from major organ failure.

    And fellow darts pal George led the tributes with an emotional statement on social media.

    He said: “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.”

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    KING OF DARTS

    Lewis famously faced Fordham on his 2015 comeback at the Grand Slam of Darts, in which the Viking hit a 180 with his first three darts before succumbing to defeat.

    Glen Durrant posted a photo of himself with Fordham in his tribute, and commented: “RIP Andy Fordham #Legend.”

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    ANDY FORDHAM SUFFERED MAJOR ORGAN FAILURE

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    FINAL STAGES OF HIS CAREER

    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.

    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.

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