ANDY FORDHAM TO RETURN TO WORLD DARTS
In 2007 the British Darts Organisation (BDO) was ‘delighted’ to announce that
ANDY FORDHAM, the 2004 BDO World Professional Darts Champion and one of the biggest and most popular characters in darts, is to return to the world stage later this year.
The charismatic player known universally as ‘The Viking’, has accepted an invitation to compete in the 2007 Winmau World Masters this November
“This is wonderful news for the sport of darts, because Andy is probably the most respected and recognised player in the world”, says Olly Croft of the BDO. “He and wife Jenny, together with their children Raymond and Emily, are an integral part of the BDO family and it is great to have him back on the oche where he belongs”.
The hugely popular player was taken ill at Lakeside Country Club in January with chest and liver problems, and it was feared by some that he might never play competitive darts again.
However, with the strong support of his family, friends and fellow players, Andy (now down to 21 stone in weight) has been making steady progress towards a return to good health, and after months of not picking up a dart, he has been practising privately.
The result is that when he returned to competitive darts last week in the Turunc Open in Turkey, he reached the Semi-Finals.
“Although I was a little nervous to begin with, the confidence slowly came back, and I was pleased and surprised with my game and the way I handled it”, says Andy.
“This was my first competitive darts for eight long months and although there’s still a way to go, I now have a firm target to aim for and goals to achieve.”
The 2007 Winmau World Masters, in association with JJB Sports, is the final tournament in the 2007 BDO Grand Slam title and will be played at Leisure World, Bridlington from November 16th to 18th. The weekend finals of the Men’s Masters will be televised by BBC TV Sport on November 17th & 18th and the £60,000 prize money makes it the richest 2-day televised tournament in World Darts.
Andy was crowned Winmau World Masters Men’s Champion in 1999 and is sponsored by the Winmau Dartboard Company.
“We are delighted that Andy is making his return to major darts at this year’s Winmau World Masters”, says Ian Flack, Sales & Marketing Director of the Winmau Dartboard Company. “We have always given him our total support and he is a great ambassador for the worldwide sport of darts.
“Everyone at Winmau joins with Andy’s family, the BDO, and his fellow players, in welcoming him back to the world stage where he truly belongs”.
It’s amazing to note that more than a decade on Andy remains one of the most popular darts players on the circuit.
© Patrick Chaplin 2007 and 2019