Eric Bristow, Five-Time World Darts Champion, Dies Aged 60

'Crafty Cockney' suffered a heart attack.
Andrew Redington via Getty Images

Five-time world champion Eric Bristow has died aged 60 after suffering a heart attack, the Professional Darts Corporation has announced.

Bristow, known as the “Crafty Cockney”, was the biggest name in darts throughout the 1980s – the beginning of the sport’s television boom.

He was a founder member of the PDC in 1993 and mentored the sport’s next dominant player Phil Taylor. Bristow received an MBE in 1989.

PDC chairman Barry Hearn told BBC Sport he collapsed at a Premier League event in Liverpool.

A PDC statement read: “The Professional Darts Corporation is deeply saddened to announce that five-time world champion Eric Bristow MBE passed away on Thursday evening following a heart attack.”

The crowd at Thursday night’s Premier League event in Liverpool responded to the news with a long chorus of “There’s only one Eric Bristow”.

The PDC posted a short clip of the scenes on its official Twitter account.

World champion five times between 1980 and 1986, Bristow also won five World Masters titles. He was awarded an MBE for his services to sport in 1989.

He also worked as a TV pundit and appeared on ITV show I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here in 2012.

A founder player as a number of leading names formed the breakaway World Darts Council (now PDC), Bristow continued to be a key personality within the sport even after his talents waned.

He lost his role with Sky Sports after suggesting on Twitter that football abuse victims were “wimps” after more than 20 ex-players said they were victims of the Barry Bennell sex abuse scandal.

Sports promoter Hearn described Bristow as a “a legend”: “Eric will always be a legend in the world of darts and British sport. 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.”

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