Five-time darts world champion Eric Bristow dies aged 60

Five-time darts world champion Eric Bristow dies aged 60

Eric Bristow suffered a heart attack

Friday, April 6, 2018

Five-time darts world champion Eric Bristow died yesterday (April 5) at the age of 60.

Bristow suffered a heart attack after attending a corporate event in Liverpool ahead of a Premier League fixture at the Echo Arena.

The Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) announced his death midway through the night's play, with fans breaking into a spontaneous rendition of "There's only one Eric Bristow". Commentator Rod Studd paused out of respect.

He later called 'The Crafty Cockney' the "biggest star darts has ever had". It was a fitting tribute to the man PDC chairman Barry Hearn described as "a legend".

As news broke, the players on stage, Peter Wright and Daryl Gurney, and Sky's commentary team were unable to contain their emotions with all in tears.

One of darts' first superstar players, Bristow won his five titles in the British Darts Organisation, dominating the sport between 1980 and 1986. His first title, a 5-3 defeat of Bobby George, marked the start of his dynasty.

A founder player as a number of leading names formed the breakaway World Darts Council, now PDC, Bristow continued to be a key personality within the sport even after his talents waned.

His friendship with Phil Taylor led to Bristow mentoring 'The Power', who became the greatest player of all time, initially sponsoring him and showing him the ropes in his pub, 'The Crafty Cockney'.

Taylor, who is expected to be enormously affected by the news, has yet to pay tribute. He ended his glittering career in January.

Bristow eventually moved into broadcasting with Sky Sports, combining commentary duties with work as a spotter, plotting the checkouts for the players that viewers see on their screens.

I'm a Celebrity followed too, going into the jungle in 2012, when he finished fourth.

Hearn was left in shock by Bristow's sudden death. He told BBC Sport: "The word legend is overused but it's an understatement for Eric Bristow.

"We often talk about the absence of characters in sport but Eric Bristow was a character with a capital 'c'. He was very much a man of the people. He understood what crowds wanted to see."