Andy Fordham

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Andy Fordham
Personal information
Nickname The Viking[1]
Born (1962-02-02) 2 February 1962 (age 52)
Charlton, London, England
Home town Dartford, Kent
England
Darts information
Darts 21g Winmau 'Viking Raiders'
Laterality Right-handed
Walk-on music I'm Too Sexy by Right Said Fred
Organisation (see split in darts)
BDO 1990–2008, 2013-
PDC 2009–2011
Current world ranking (BDO) 181
BDO majors - best performances
World Ch'ship Winner 2004
World Masters Winner 1999
World Darts Trophy Semi Final: 2002
Int. Darts League Semi Final: 2003
Zuiderduin Masters Runner Up: 2001
Other tournament wins
Tournament Years
British Matchplay
British Pentathlon
Finnish Open
Isle Of Man Open
Norway Open
Swiss Open
WDF Europe Cup Pairs
WDF World Cup Pairs
Welsh Open
1995
1998, 2003
1994
1995
1995, 2000
1994
1996

1995, 2001

2002
Updated on 22 February 2007.

Andy "The Viking" Fordham (born 2 February 1962 in Charlton, London) is an English darts player. He plays for the British Darts Organisation and he won the 2004 BDO World Darts Championship. And the 1999 Winmau World Masters champion.

Darts career[edit]

Fordham made his first appearance on the stage at Lakeside in 1995 and made it to the semi-finals before losing to Richie Burnett. Another semi-final defeat followed in 1996, this time to Steve Beaton. On both occasions, his victor went on to claim the title. Second round defeats followed in 1997 (to Marshall James) and 1998 (to Raymond van Barneveld) before he made it a hat-trick of semi-final defeats in 1999, this time to Ronnie Baxter.

His 2000 campaign ended in the quarter-finals at the hands of Chris Mason and his fourth semi-final loss in 2001 was to Ted Hankey. In 2002 and 2003 he went out in the first and second rounds respectively, before he finally managed to end his jinx in the 2004 World Championship. His run in the 2004 World Championship saw him win his first match 3–0 against unknown Brian Derbyshire. He then beat former Masters champion Tony West 3–0, and teased a 9-dart leg in the third set. He defeated Darryl Fitton in the quarter-finals 5–4, and then stunned Van Barneveld, the defending champion and strong tournament favourite, by recovering from 0–3 and 2–4 down to win 5–4 in what is considered one of the most dramatic matches in BDO history.

Fordham defeated King in the final, hitting a 139 checkout to take the eighth set 3–2 when Mervyn had reached a double-18, and then recovering from 2–0 down in the next set to take it 3–2 with double-8, and win the match by 6 sets to 3.

He has failed to win a single match at Lakeside in the three years since his title victory. The BDO World Champion receives an exemption from qualifying for a three-year period but that has now expired. His world ranking has slipped dramatically and major concerns about his health have meant that the chance of him returning to the heights of that 2004 success have receded.

It has been announced that he is returning to the BDO British Darts Organisation in 2013, starting with the Dutch Open.

Fordham managed to get a wild card for the televised stages at the 2014 BDO World Trophy and will face Alan Norris in the first round.

Health concerns[edit]

In 2004, he was forced to withdraw from a best-of-13-sets match at Purfleet's Circus Tavern which pitted the two world darts champions of that time (Fordham representing the BDO and Phil Taylor representing the PDC) due to heat intensity. Taylor was subsequently declared the victor having been leading the contest by 5 sets to 2. After the incident Fordham visited a doctor, who told him his liver was 75% dead and the other 25% was in bad shape and urged him to stop drinking alcohol immediately.[2]

Fordham's health has long been a concern. At one point he weighed 31 stone (197 kilograms, 434 lbs) and was in the habit of consuming 25 bottles of lager before going on stage to play. The scare during the head-to-head game led Fordham to seek help via the television programme Celebrity Fit Club, where he became friends with the journalist and TV presenter Paul Ross. While getting a regime underway to try to lose some weight, he was defeated in the first round of the 2005 Lakeside World championship by Dutchman Vincent van der Voort. Fordham made another Lakeside appearance in 2006 but again suffered a first round exit, this time losing to Australia's Simon Whitlock.

Fordham was due to face Whitlock again in the first round of the 2007 BDO World Darts Championship, but was once again hospitalised after complaining of chest pains and breathing difficulties. He was forced to pull out of the tournament as a result and Whitlock received a walkover and went through to the second round without throwing a single dart.

Weeks after pulling out of the BDO World Championship, Fordham suffered what was initially thought to be a stroke, which turned out to be severe breathing difficulties caused by massive fluid build-up in his lungs. The incident was described as "minor" by his agent, and he is expected to make a full recovery.[3] In 2008, Fordham applied for a liver transplant.[4] Although initially on an emergency liver transplant list, he subsequently lost 17 st (108 kg, 238 lbs) in weight and stopping drinking leading to an announcement in December that he probably would not require a transplant for five years.[1]

Return to darts[edit]

In September 2007, after a nine month layoff due to serious health problems, Fordham made an unobtrusive return to the oche at the Turunc Open in Turkey. Fordham reached the semi-final of the singles event, losing to the eventual winner Martin Phillips from Wales. During the lay-off Fordham lost 10 stone (63.5 kg, 140 lbs).[5]

He won one match in an attempt to qualify for the 2008 Lakeside World Championship, but went out in the last 128 and also lost in his opening match at the last 136 stage of the Winmau World Masters. He then received an invitation to play at the Zuiderduin Masters in December 2007 – but lost both matches 0–5, to Mark Barilli (averaging 53.43) and to Co Stompé (averaging 76.20).[6] On 10 January 2009 it was announced that Fordham will move to the PDC.[7]

In September 2014, Andy returned to playing County darts and made his debut for Essex. He also plays in the Essex Superleague for Basildon.

PDC career[edit]

Fordham made his PDC debut in March 2009 at a Players Championship in Coventry losing his preliminary round match 6–4 against Gary Scratchley. After ending his first six tournaments with no money and without a single win, Fordham won his first match at the East Midlands Players Championship, beating Jon Archer 6–4 and earned £200 for his efforts. He eventually lost to James Wade in the last 64 stage. He also won £200 in Austria and a combined total of £400 over two tournaments in Nuland. As of October 2011, Fordham is ranked 303 in the PDC Order of Merit having not won any prize money since October 2009. In 2013 it seems that he has stopped drinking and made a return to competitive darts. [8]

World Championship Results[edit]

BDO[edit]

Outside darts[edit]

Fordham is the eldest of four children and has a brother and two sisters. He grew up in Charlton, south-east London and attended Charlton Manor Primary School and Eaglesfield Secondary School. He was a keen track-and-field athlete in his younger days and was nicknamed 'The Whippet' at school.

Fordham is a huge fan of Scottish football club Rangers, and even paraded his Lakeside trophy before a game at Ibrox Stadium in 2004, he is also a fan of Millwall F.C. and paraded his trophy at half time.[9] A keen footballer himself, Fordham played for the Angerstein Hotel in east Greenwich after leaving school and this was where his love of darts was sparked. The Angerstein Hotel football team made up most of the resident darts team and after a training night the lads were a man short and asked 'The Whippet' to join them.

At the 2011 BDO World Darts Championship at the Lakeside, Mark Williams a former snooker world champion announced that Fordham had broken his leg.

Fordham is married to Jenny, and they have two children, Raymond (born 1986) and Emily (born 1987). Fordham and Jenny run "The Cutty Sark" in Thamesmead having previously run The Queen's Arms in Woolwich and The Rose public house in Dartford Kent.

References[edit]

External links[edit]