LONDON (Reuters) - Five-time world darts champion Eric Bristow died on Thursday at the age of 60 following a heart attack, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) said in a statement.
One of the sports first great players, the man known as the “Crafty Cockney” was world champion five times between 1980-1986 and won five masters titles during a stellar career.
His final world championship, in 2000, was Bristow’s 23rd in a career during which he won over 70 professional titles.
He was inducted into the PDC Hall of Fame in 2005 and retired from competing at the end of 2007.
Bristow also worked as a TV pundit and was awarded the MBE for his services to sport in 1989.
“Eric will always be a legend in the world of darts and British sport,” PDC Chairman Barry Hearn said.
“He was a tremendous player and a huge character and even after his retirement fans would travel for miles to meet him and see him play.
“Eric was never afraid of controversy, but he spoke as he found and was honest and straightforward which is what people admired about him. The PDC, and the sport of darts, will miss him.”
Reporting by Ken Ferris, editing by Ed Osmond