Andy Fordham

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Andy Fordham
Andy fordham-1520889593.jpeg
Personal information
Full nameAndrew Fordham
NicknameThe Viking
Born (1962-02-02) 2 February 1962 (age 58)
Bristol, England
Home townCharlton, London
England
Darts information
Playing darts since1982
Darts21g Winmau 'Viking Raiders'
LateralityRight-handed
Walk-on musicI'm Too Sexy by Right Said Fred
Organisation (see split in darts)
BDO1990–2004, 2005-2008, 2013–2018, 2020-
PDC2004, 2009–2011, 2015, 2018-2020
BDO majors – best performances
World Ch'shipWinner (1) 2004
World MastersWinner (1) 1999
World Darts TrophySemi Final: 2002
Int. Darts LeagueSemi Final: 2003
Finder MastersRunner Up: 2001
PDC premier events – best performances
Grand SlamGroup Stages: 2015
Other tournament wins
TournamentYears
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

Andy "The Viking" Fordham (born 2 February 1962 from Bristol) is a retired English professional darts player. He won the 2004 BDO World Darts Championship and the 1999 Winmau World Masters.

Darts career[edit]

Fordham made his first appearance on the stage at Lakeside in the 1995 BDO World Darts Championship and reached the semi-finals before losing to Richie Burnett. Another semi-final defeat followed in 1996, this time to Steve Beaton. On both these occasions, his victor then went on to claim the title. Second round defeats followed in 1997 (to Marshall James) and 1998 (to Raymond van Barneveld) before Fordham made it to the semi-final stage of the World Championship for third time in 1999, but was defeated by 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.

Fordham finally put an end to his "nearly man" reputation in the 2004 World Championship. His run saw him win his first match comfortably, 3–0 against qualifier 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 world champion and strong tournament favourite, by recovering from 0–3 and 2–4 down to win the match 5–4, in what is still considered one of the most dramatic and exciting matches in BDO history.

In the final, Fordham defeated Mervyn King, hitting a 139 checkout to take the eighth set 3–2 when King 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.

Showdown with Taylor and health concerns[edit]

On 21 November 2004, Fordham, as reigning BDO world champion, faced off against Phil Taylor, the reigning PDC world champion, in a best-of-13-sets match at Purfleet's Circus Tavern. The special pay-per-view event was billed as "The Showdown" and was promoted and broadcast by Sky Sports. During the match, Fordham became unwell and complained of shortness of breath. He took a break after the seventh set and was advised not to continue by medical staff at the venue. Taylor was leading the match 5–2 at the time and declared the winner by default.[1]

After the incident Fordham visited a doctor, and following medical tests he was informed that, as a result of long term alcohol damage, his liver was operating at only 25% capacity. He was advised 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 regularly consuming 24 bottles of lager before going on stage to play darts. He admitted to the media that he had felt more comfortable playing when not fully sober[3] The doctors' advice led Fordham to seek help and assistance via the television programme Celebrity Fit Club, where he became friends with the journalist and TV presenter Paul Ross.

While getting an exercise regime underway to try to lose some weight, in January 2005 Fordham returned to the Lakeside World championship as defending champion, but was defeated 3–2 in the first round by Dutchman Vincent van der Voort. He failed to progress past the first round of any of the other BDO majors that year, although he did reach the final of the Masters of Darts event, where he lost 7–1 to Phil Taylor.[4]

Fordham made another Lakeside appearance in 2006 but again suffered a first round exit, this time losing 3–0 to Australia's Simon Whitlock. Fordham was scheduled to face Whitlock again in the first round of the 2007 BDO World Darts Championship, but prior to the tournament starting he was again hospitalised after complaining of chest pains and breathing difficulties. Subsequently, he had 18 litres of bile drained from his lungs and was to remain in hospital for three weeks. Fordham was withdrawn from the tournament, with Whitlock receiving a walkover to the second round. Less than one week after being discharged from hospital, Fordham suffered what was initially thought to be a minor stroke, but which turned out to be severe breathing difficulties caused by further fluid build-up in his lungs. He eventually made a full recovery.[5] In 2008, Fordham applied for a liver transplant.[6] Although initially on an emergency liver transplant list, he subsequently lost 17 st (108 kg, 238 lbs) in weight and stopped drinking alcohol completely, leading to an announcement in December that, due to the improvement in his physical well-being, he probably would not now require a transplant for five years.[7]

Return to darts[edit]

In September 2007, after a nine-month absence from darts due to his health issues, Fordham made an low-key return to the oche at the Turunc Open in Turkey. Fordham did comparatively well, reaching the semi-final of the singles event where he lost to the eventual winner Martin Phillips from Wales. During his lay-off from the game, Fordham had lost 10 stone (63.5 kg, 140 lbs).[8]

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).[9]

Move to the PDC[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 prize 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 was ranked 303 in the PDC Order of Merit, having not won any prize money since October 2009.

After steady improvement in results and increased practice to regain his skills, in 2013, he made a return to competitive tournament darts.[10]

Return to the BDO[edit]

It was announced that Fordham would return to the British Darts Organisation in 2013, starting with the Dutch Open.[11] MariFlex were announced as his new sponsors in February 2013.[12] He also extended his long running partnership with leading darts sponsor Winmau in May 2013.[13]

Fordham was awarded a wild card for the televised stages at the 2014 BDO World Trophy and faced Alan Norris in the first round.[14] He was beaten 6–2 by Norris.[15]

In October 2015, Fordham advanced through a field of almost 200 players to qualify for the 2015 Grand Slam of Darts (a PDC major), winning one of two BDO UK Qualifiers.[16][17] He was unable to qualify from a group consisting of Adrian Lewis, Michael Smith and Wayne Jones.[18][19] His only victory, 5–3 against Jones, was his first televised win in over ten years, since the Masters of Darts in February 2005.[20] Fordham also received a wildcard for the 2015 Zuiderduin Masters.[21] He failed to qualify from his group because of an inferior legs difference to Brian Dawson.[22][23] Also in 2015, Fordham notably reached the quarter-finals of the Jersey Classic and the last 16 of the Hal Masters, German Masters and BDO International Open.[24][25]

As of September 2015, Fordham is awaiting clearance to play darts for the White Bear in the Chorley Darts and Dominoes League.[26]

He extended his partnership with Winmau for a further five years in April 2016.[27] Fordham was unveiled as an ambassador for the British Disability Darts Association (BDDA) in May 2016.[28] Handed another wildcard for the 2016 BDO World Trophy,[29] Fordham lost 6–2 to Glen Durrant in round one.[30]

2018[edit]

He attempted to qualify for the 2018 World Masters, reaching the last 272. As of October 2019 he has not participated in any BDO event.

World Championship Results[edit]

BDO[edit]

Career finals[edit]

Independent major finals: 1 (1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 2005 Masters of Darts England Phil Taylor 1–7 (s)

Performance timeline[edit]

Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
BDO World Championship DNQ SF SF 2R 2R SF QF SF 1R 2R W 1R 1R 1R DNQ
Winmau World Masters 3R DNP SF QF SF 4R 3R W 2R SF QF SF 1R RR 1R 1R 2R DNP 1R 2R 1R 1R 1R 1R
European Masters Not held QF Not held
Finder Darts Masters Not held DNP F RR QF DNP NH RR DNP RR DNP RR DNP
World Darts Trophy Not held SF 1R DNP 1R DNP Not held
International Darts League Not held SF RR RR RR DNP Not held
BDO World Trophy Not held 1R DNQ 1R 2R DNQ
Masters of Darts Not held F NH DNP Not held
Grand Slam of Darts Not held DNQ RR DNQ
Performance Table Legend
DNP Did not play at the event DNQ Did not qualify for the event NYF Not yet founded #R lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
QF lost in the quarter-finals SF lost in the semi-finals F lost in the final W won the tournament

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 BDO World Championship trophy before a game at Ibrox Stadium in 2004, he is also a fan of Millwall F.C. and has paraded his trophy at half time at The Den .[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sky Sports refuses darts refund". The Guardian. 22 November 2004. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Ik ben een alcoholist die niet drinkt". De Pers (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 29 November 2009.
  3. ^ White, Jim (24 November 2009). "Andy Fordham: I became world darts champion despite never being sober". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Masterful Taylor defeats Fordham". BBC Sport. 13 February 2005. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  5. ^ "Viking stroke". The Daily Record. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007.
  6. ^ "Fordham needs liver transplant". BBC News. 9 July 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  7. ^ Elliott, Jane (5 December 2008). "How darts star hit health bullseye". BBC News. London: BBC. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Slimmer Fordham's darts return". BBC Sport. 16 November 2007. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  9. ^ "Andy Fordham Player Profile". dartsdatabase.co.uk. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  10. ^ "Andy Fordham: Ex-world darts champion on his battle with alcohol". BBC Sport. 12 October 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  11. ^ "Andy Fordham returns to BDO Darts". BDO. 17 January 2013. Archived from the original on 20 January 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  12. ^ "Andy Fordham joins MariFlex darts team". WDF. 3 February 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  13. ^ "Andy Fordham extends his Winmau sponsorship". BDO. 13 May 2013. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  14. ^ "Daily Mirror BDO World Darts Trophy: Andy The Viking Fordham to feature on opening night". The Mirror. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  15. ^ "Match Reports Night 1 World Trophy". BDO. 6 February 2014. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  16. ^ "Andy Fordham and Larry Butler book Grand Slam of Darts spots". Sky Sports. 7 October 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  17. ^ "Andy Fordham secures Grand Slam of Darts place". BBC. 7 October 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  18. ^ "SINGHA Beer Grand Slam Day One". PDC. 7 November 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  19. ^ "SINGHA Beer Grand Slam - Tuesday". PDC. 10 November 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  20. ^ "SINGHA Beer Grand Slam Day Two". PDC. 8 November 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  21. ^ "Icon Andy Fordham Coming To Finder Darts Masters". WDF. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  22. ^ "Finder Darts Masters Friday Results". WDF. 5 December 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  23. ^ "Finder Darts Masters Saturday Results". WDF. 6 December 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  24. ^ "Hal Masters 2015 Results". BDO. 22 March 2015. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  25. ^ "2015 German Masters Results". BDO. 19 April 2015. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  26. ^ "Darts league cannot decide if The Viking can play or not". Chorley Guardian. 10 September 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  27. ^ "Andy Fordham Commits his Future to Winmau". Winmau. 26 April 2016. Archived from the original on 14 May 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  28. ^ "Andy Fordham Revealed as British Disability Darts Association Ambassador". Winmau. 25 May 2016. Archived from the original on 31 May 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  29. ^ "Ted Hankey a wildcard for BDO World Trophy". Shropshire Star. 4 May 2016. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  30. ^ "GLEN DURRANT v ANDY FORDHAM 6-2" (PDF). BDO. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  31. ^ "About Andy". andyfordham.co.uk. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2010.

External links[edit]