The darts community suffered a devastating loss last month with the death of legendary sportsman Eric Bristow.
Bristow was known in the sport as the ‘Crafty Cockney’ and was at one time the biggest name in the sport. During the 80s, it underwent a boom, as more people began to tune in on the TV, at which time Bristow was at the top of his game.
His death, at the age of just 60, was announced by the Professional Darts Corporation on April 4th at a Premier League event at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
He collapsed and died suddenly, prompting outpourings of affection for the one-time champion from fans, players and pundits alike.
Dennis Priestley, who beat Bristow in the 1991 BDO World Championship final, tweeted: “Absolutely devestated (sic) to be told earlier that my good friend Eric Bristow has passed away. We shared some great times together and I’m so saddened that we won’t get to share anymore. Rest in peace old friend”
Bristow’s funeral was likewise a packed-out affair, with old rivals including Priestley, Keith Deller and others congregating to say a final goodbye to the sportsman in Stoke-on-Trent. In a fitting tribute, his coffin was decorated with a dartboard and darts showing three in a bed – the treble 20.
Dennis Priestley is known by aficionados of the sport as ‘The Menace’ inspired by the black and red striped polo shirts which he wears, a nod to cartoon character Dennis the Menace. He’s a favourite on the books at entertainment agencies for his after dinner speaking, and first rose to prominence after beating Bristow in the 1991 Embassy World Championship.