Tributes to Darts Champion Jocky Wilson As Hundreds Attend Funeral

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Floral tributes to Wilson focused on darts
Floral tributes to Wilson focused on darts

Hundreds of mourners have gathered to pay their last respects to former world champion darts player Jocky Wilson.

Family and friends were joined by figures from the world of darts to bid a final farewell to Wilson who passed away at his home in Kirkcaldy, Fife last Saturday, two days after his 62nd birthday.

Around 400 people, including Eric Bristow, packed Kirkcaldy Crematorium to hear about a "wonderful and loving" dad whose most important role in life had been to provide for his family.

He leaves behind wife Malvina and their three children Anne Marie, John and William, and six grandchildren.

During the service, conducted by Denis Madden, mourners heard how he would have celebrated his 44th wedding anniversary next month.

Mr Madden said: "When it came to the crunch, what this man's life was all about was his wife, his children and grandchildren. That's what mattered.

"He was a lovely, quiet, firm family man."

He told how the two-time world champion never sought the fame his success brought him after he first picked up darts in a local pub when the team were a player down.

He said: "He went on to play all over the world. I don't think there's a continent that the man did not play in. But if the truth be told, Jocky Wilson never wanted to become famous or in the spotlight.

"Jocky would be the first to tell you that work in its own right was a means to an end, all he wanted out of it was to provide well for his wife and family."

He added: "Jocky was a wonderful dad. He was full of fun and laughter, and yet I have to say he and Malvina brought their children up well because they have instilled nothing but the best of values, morals and standards in all three of them.

"He has played a huge part in moulding each one of them into the people that they have become today."

Wilson started his career in 1979 and reached at least the quarter-finals of every World Championship between then and 1991, winning the title in 1982 and 1989. He was also a four-time British champion between 1981 and 1988 and a three-time Scottish Masters champion.

He was a founding member of the Professional Darts Corporation and is acknowledged as one of the main forerunners to darts' current popularity.

His own popularity among both players and fans was confirmed with the 2009 Jocky Wilson Cup, which took place in Glasgow, in celebration of his career.

Wilson would be remembered as a "wonderful and loving husband, dad, grandad, brother and friend", Mr Madden said.

Floral tributes spelling out "Jocky" and "Dad" were laid beside his coffin alongside dartboards made from flowers as the hearse arrived.

The coffin was carried into the building to the song Impossible Dream as mourners flooded in behind with many left to stand outside the packed room as the service started by singing the hymn The Old Rugged Cross.

Mr Madden went on to explain how Wilson had suffered with the lung disorder chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for three-and-a-half years.

He said it was a "debilitating disease" which had gradually taken his freedom and independence.

He said: "We are here now today because we know Jocky Wilson was taken from our lives, slipping away peacefully and quietly in his own home, just as he would have wanted it: no fuss.

"One minute Jocky was still with us and in a moment he was peacefully swept away."

A moment of reflection was held as a section of Frank Sinatra's My Way was played.

Eric Bristow, speaking after the service, said: "He was a character. Every sport needs characters and Jocky was a big one of ours.

He added: "He was a great player. You don't win the world championship twice do you? To win it twice you've got to be a proper darts player and that's what he was."