Northern Ireland darts star Daryl Gurney has paid tribute to five-time world champion Eric Bristow, who has died at the age of 60 after suffering a heart attack.
The Professional Darts Corporation announced the death of the ‘Crafty Cockney’ during Thursday night’s Premier League fixture in Liverpool.
Bristow had been attending a corporate function at the venue before suddenly taking ill and collapsing.
The players on stage when Bristow’s death was announced – Londonderry man Gurney and Peter Wright– both broke down in tears.
Immediately after the news broke, fans at the Echo Arena burst into a rendition of “There’s only one Eric Bristow” as commentator Rod Studd stopped speaking. He later called Bristow “the biggest star darts has ever had”.
Gurney, who became a father for the first time on Thursday, later tweeted: “Was hard to play tonight for many reasons. Thanks to the crowd in Liverpool this will live long in the memory for Good and Bad reasons RIP @ericbristow the biggest name in our sport.”
One of darts’ first superstar players, Bristow won his five titles as a player in the British Darts Organisation, dominating the sport between 1980 and 1986.
Bristow continued to be a key personality within the sport even after his talents waned.