Eric Bristow, the name most synonymous with world darts, has collapsed and passed away at a Liverpool F.C. hospitality event, it has been announced.
Bristow, adorned with boyish good looks and straight-talking friendliness, reigned supreme over the then ailing sport of darts during the 1980s. He is widely accredited with its public survival and resurgence over the last four decades.
Born in Hackney, London, on 25 April 1957, Bristow became the main darts poster-boy as he went on to win the world championship five times between 1980 and 1986, also taking five World Masters titles and being awarded an MBE for his services to the sport in 1989.
His first title, a 5-3 defeat of darts legend Bobby George, marked the start of his success story. He was ranked world number one by the World Darts Federation a record six times and latterly went on to mentor record world champion winner Phil Taylor.
“It’s just unbelievable,” Barry Hearn, Professional Darts Corporation chairman, told the BBC. “He was working as normal in hospitality, started feeling ill and collapsed and died. The word legend is overused but it’s an understatement for Eric Bristow.”