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Darts legend Andy 'The Viking' Fordham has passed away at the age of 59, his representatives have confirmed.
The former world champion won the 2004 BDO World Championship after beating Mervyn King in the final.
Leading the tributes was Adrian Lewis who played against Fordham in the 2015 Grand Slam of Darts.
Sad to hear the passing of a legend Andy Fordham our thoughts are with his family
- Adrian Lewis (@jackpot180) July 15, 2021
Sad to see the passing of a legend today
RIP Andy Fordham
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
- Matthew Edgar (@theedgar501) July 15, 2021
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. pic.twitter.com/GvJqVp9x6J
- Bobby George (@BobbyGeorge180) July 15, 2021
Absolutely devastated to hear of the passing of this Legend, it was an absolute pleasure to have worked and shared a stage with a true gent. Will be such a miss to all involved with darts. RIP Andy Fordham :blue_heart: pic.twitter.com/xnN580Ag0g
- Chris Dobey (@Dobey10) July 15, 2021
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 pic.twitter.com/kmMlYhVeVh
- Stevebeaton (@Stevebeaton180) July 15, 2021
As well as fellow players, fans have also taken to social media to pass on their respects. One wrote: "What sad news about Andy Fordham. One hell of a darts player, who achieved cult status even in a sport populated by cult icons."
Another added: "One of my favourite moments in darting history is Andy Fordham's 180 at the grandslam [sic] against Adrian Lewis. To comeback for all of his health problems and hit a 180 with your first 3 darts in your first big TV game in years was an absolutely amazing moment RIP VIKING."
So sad to hear about the passing of Andy Fordham aged just 59. Here's the moment he became world champion in 2004 and those tremendous Lakeside crowd scenes and celebrations pic.twitter.com/6m5LYt7YjP
- Chris Hammer (@ChrisHammer180) July 15, 2021
In 2006, Fordham made his final appearance before health issues saw him take a break until 2008 when he tried to qualify for the World Championship but lost out in the last 128.
In 2015, when Fordham played against Adrian Lewis, he made an almighty and unforgettable comeback by hitting 180 with his first three darts.
He played the BDO Tour before his last tournament in 2018 and was planning a return after entering the World Senior Darts Championship next year.
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