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Gary Anderson pays tribute to “gentleman” Andy Fordham

Jamie Shaw in Darts Interviews 20 Jul 2021
Anderson pays tribute to The Viking (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Gary Anderson has paid tribute to darting great Andy Fordham, who passed away last week following a long health battle.

Fordham was one of the sport’s most recognisable faces over a period of two decades and his greatest triumph saw him claim the BDO world title in 2004.

Having also won the World Masters in 1999, Fordham was a regular in the latter stages of major tournaments and made 12 World Championship appearances between 1995 and 2006.

He passed away on Friday aged 59 following multiple health complications.

Anderson joined the BDO in 2000 and faced Fordham in only his second Lakeside appearance three years later, prevailing by three sets to one in the Second Round.

Fordham would go on to clinch the Lakeside crown the following year, and Anderson has described ‘The Viking’ as “an absolute gentleman”.

“I’d known Andy for a long time – an absolute gentleman,” he told Live Darts.

“Like myself, he was one of the laziest dart players but he was very, very good!

“He would sit on his backside all day but then go up and play good darts, he was absolutely fantastic.

“If you mention dart players from the past, you had Eric Bristow, Jocky Wilson, Andy Fordham, they’re the boys who were always mentioned.

“Andy was a gentleman and he’ll be sadly missed in the darting world.”

Tributes have poured in for one of the sport’s most loved characters, and Sky Sports’ Wayne Mardle has recalled the time he spent in Fordham’s company during his playing years.

“We were doing exhibitions in Holland from 2000 to about 2006 and I’ve shared hotel rooms with Andy and there was one time when we shared a bed,” said Mardle on air during the opening night of the World Matchplay.

“There was a mix-up with the hotel rooms, let’s say!

“He was brilliant to be around. He was a fun character, he was a masterful and brilliant darts player but he was a better human being than that.

“I’ll miss him, of course, and the darting world will miss a legend, that’s for sure.”

Three-time World Champion John Part recalled: “From the first time I travelled to England to play the Welsh Open after I won the BDO tournament in 1994 I was staying with Martin Adams and we were driving from where he lived near Peterborough to Wales and we picked up Andy along the way.

“We had a long car ride with Andy so we really got to know him. To know Andy there were never any problems, or anything but levity and joy really.

“We soon found out how well he could play darts. He was extremely talented and a dangerous opponent around the time I was playing in ’94, it took him 10 years to become a world champion from that point.

“It was never a surprise, but in fact people were surprised it took him that long.

“He had a talent for sure and he knew it.”

Mervyn King, who lost to Fordham in the 2004 Lakeside final, laughed: “I always said to him he was lucky I let him win!

“It was great to play Andy in the final, being a good friend.

“We had been friends for a lot of years and it was one of those things you hope for but never think will happen.

“The game itself, I can’t really remember a great deal about it apart from the 101 checkout I had and his winning dart where he hit the double to win.”

Andy Fordham (1962-2021) (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)