||ANDY ‘THE VIKING’ FORDHAM IS A
DARTS LEGEND AND ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR PLAYERS OF
ALL TIME. HE BECAME A SUPERSTAR IN 2004, WHEN HE WON
THE BRITISH DARTS ORGANISATION WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP.
OVERNIGHT, THE NATION FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS
But behind the joyous celebrations, all was not
well. Andy’s drinking – at least 25 bottles of beer
a day – made his weight skyrocket out of control. He
weighed 31 stone when he won the world title, and
severe problems were building up. Over the next
couple of years, his health deteriorated and his
playing suffered a dramatic decline. In January
2007, Andy collapsed and nearly died. Then the
seemingly impossible happened . . .
For the first time in print, Andy tells his entire
life story. With genial wit and gentle good humour,
he combines beery anecdotes from the darts world
with an honest, moving account of his severe health
problems. Telling of the triumphs and the tears, the
impact of his decline upon his family and his
near-miraculous return to health, this is Andy
Fordham in his own words, with nothing held back.
The book has a Foreword by Eric Bristow and
an Introduction by Phil "The Power" Taylor.
If you would like to order your own copy of
Andy's new book then please note that the
recommended Retail Price is £17.99, but
Amazon are selling it for an amazing
now, so buy it at Amazon by clicking on the link to
|Andy 'The Viking'
Fordham's autobiography hits the bulls-eye
By Andrew Baker
14 Oct 2009
Darts player Andy Fordham's autobiography 'The
Viking' reveals a good-hearted man amid some epic
drinking and serious health problems.
What is it about darts that brings the best out of our finest writers? Giles Smith, late of this parish, rhapsodises about Phil 'The Power' Taylor, and Keith Talent, arrow-hurling anti-hero of Martin Amis's London Fields, will surely be recognised by future generations as one of the great tragic-comic creations of our era.
It has been suggested that Talent, a booze-fuelled petty criminal with multiple mistresses, was based on a real darts player, but that surely cannot be the case. Next to some of his real-life counterparts, Keith looks like a health-food guru, a paragon of propriety.
Jocky Wilson's career was a suicide note in televisual instalments; "Big Cliff" Lazarenko once filled a hotel bath with wine and invited his playing colleagues to dip their tooth-mugs.
But Andy Fordham, autobiographical author of The Viking (Pennant Books, £17.99) could out-quaff any of them. While it should be pointed out immediately that Fordham is second to none in fidelity to his childhood sweetheart Jenny, it should also be made clear that in his heyday the portly publican drank like a fish. A big fish. A school of big fishes.
Breakfast: a few bottles of Pils. Mid-morning snack: a few bottles of Pils, and a brandy or two. Lunch and tea: Pils. Then Andy would really start to get to it, revving up for an evening in front of the darts board.
In his prime ("prime, gentlemen, please") The Viking could get through more than 60 bottles of vandal-strength lager a day, as well as a good number of brandies, and he weighed 31 stone when he won the world darts title.
Some might wonder how anyone could carry 60 bottles of vandal-strength lager home from the off-licence every day, but Andy had a useful advantage in this department: when he was not earning money on the oche, he was the landlord of The Rose in Dartford. Yes, Dartford.
Such a lifestyle did not do a great deal for Fordham's health. He points out that when weight gain is incremental, your nearest and dearest may not realise that it is happening, but one suspects that even the ever-loving Jenny may have noticed when Andy's shirt size went from XXXXXL to Tent, when his waist reached 51 inches and the long-suffering bathroom scales registered 31 stone.
At the much-hyped "Showdown" with Phil Taylor, a sweaty and suffering Fordham was described by the darts laureate Sid Waddell as looking "like a hippo in a power shower", and had to retire before the end of the match with breathing problems.
But recently Fordham has addressed his weight issue – which essentially meant addressing his booze issue – lost half his body weight, and attempted, with so far limited success, to return to the top of the darts circuit.
The Viking has located an accomplished ghost writer in Humfrey Hunter, and has a wealth of bacchanalian anecdotes to draw upon.
A gem is the comedian Johnny Vegas, who is being coached for a pro-celebrity darts tournament when the Guinness kicks in. Facing the board, arrow in hand, he confesses: "All I can see is a box of abandoned kittens!" Quite enough to put you off your throw.
Most of the book is good-natured revelry, but Fordham has had more than anyone's fair share of ill fortune: witness his wife's struggle with cancer, which has happily been long in remission, his daughter's heart problem, and his own struggles with obesity and liver damage.
Ghosted autobiographies by sporting figures who have played peripheral roles on the most prestigious stages are rarely worth the cover price.
But Andy "The Viking" Fordham and his nearest and dearest have been through a lot together, and despite the epic drinking you sense that his hard-working heart is in the right place.
Andy Fordham - The Viking by Andy
Fordham and Humfrey Hunter
Superstars of Darts
By Andy Fairclough
I wasn't quite sure what to expect when reading Andy
Fordham's autobiography. Not meaning any disrespect
whatsoever, I never really saw Andy Fordham as a
budding author! Fortunately Andy had the assistance
of a wordsmith in putting this book together but
don't let that fool you. There is no fancy prose or
wording in here - what you get seems to be 100% Andy
And that is the book's biggest success.
Despite the ups and downs in Andy's life, his book
was never going to be able to compete with superb
books like Sid Waddell's Bellies and Bullseyes and
the recent autobiographies of Eric Bristow and Bobby
However Fordham's book doesn't even try to compete
and what you have with this book is an easy to
digest and an heart on sleeve retelling of primarily
Fordham's years as a darts player.
In fact because of its simplicity and straight ahead
approach I read the book in just a few sittings. It
really is great fun and an accessible book to people
perhaps who don't read that much, as well as being
of interest to those of us who read more
Fordham seems a pretty straight ahead no nonsense
type of bloke. His life story pre darts is kept to a
single chapter. What then follows on the whole is
the retelling of Andy's career and the high jinks
and jocularity that life on the darts circuit
brings. As you'd expect with Andy's book a lot of it
is about the booze. And vast quantities of it. He
recalls (somehow!) story after story after story
about various events and happenings - and every tale
is awash with vast quantities (too much) of alcohol.
It's all very entertaining while it lasts - but you
know it comes crashing down eventually.
Fordham frankly recounts the difficult time around
his long term partner Jenny's serious illness and
that was all surrounded by his drinking.
The disastrous head to head with Phil Taylor is
mentioned and even that wasn't the wake up call Andy
needed. He boozed his way through Fit Club and the
party never seemed to stop.
Things came down to earth with a bang of course
after Andy couldn't compete at Lakeside 2007. His
recounting of events since then is pretty factual
and down to earth. Obviously he doesn't want to
dwell on it too much but he tells the story without
too much fuss.
What does come through in the closing chapters are
the sense of positiveness that Andy has towards life
- and Darts. That's great to see and I am sure all
darts fans around the world continue to wish for a
long and happy life for 'The Viking'.
if ya like darts!, 23 Dec 2009
By vinnie "vip" (england)
If you like darts and enjoy a good read then this is
for you. I found it interesting and i liked hearing
about some of the other players too. Andy is an
inspiration really, he turned his life around and
just quit drinking to save his life which must of
been hard. I cannot relate to how hard it is to quit
drinking as i am not 1 for drink but i quit smoking
7 months ago and that was hard enough, well done
sport auto i ve ever read!, 28 Nov 2009
By Brendan Heffron "BRENDAN HEFFRON" (IRELAND)
what more can anyone say about this book other than
ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!.... was never a big fan of darts
but always had a lot of respect for this gentle
giant who gives a totally honest description of his
life and how he enjoyed a few bottles of pils every
day ,or 50.. ha!ha! a fascinating book that i found
difficult to put down and had me going to work next
day tired but happy as i had been reading unto the
early hours,also extremely funny in most parts ...
do yourself a favour and buy this as it is a real
treat!... very easy read,well done big andy!
a nice read, 23 Oct 2009
By Mr. W. D. Bagnall "westhambill" (UK)
I don't know the man but i like darts and thought i
would try this. I was not dissapointed as it took me
inside his mind and the Darts people who he knew.
straight forwarded talking and an easy read and
after finishing the book i have nothing but respect
for ths man and his family. Thanks Andy for letting
me into your life and sharing your joys and
fordham, 21 Oct 2009
By Ms. S. Morrissey "p.brown" (waterford ireland)
hi i own the book and what a great read it was
to,from the moment i started to read it i could not
put it down i know the man himself but some of the
things in the book made me laugh and some made me
sad, but what a good read from start to finish.
Thanks andy and good luck for the for the rest of
your time in darts
Brilliant, 7 Oct 2009
By Ally (London, England)
This is one of those sporting autobiographies which
tells you a whole lot more about the person than
simply what happened in their sporting career, in
the same way Marcus Trescothick's and Paul McGrath's
did. Andy completely bares his soul about his
alcoholism and how ill it made him, his wife's
cancer and then his determined effort to get healthy
again. It's a genuinely moving story because he
comes across as such a nice man, genuine,
straightforward and hugely likeable, and is so open.
The high points of his darts career are covered well
enough to keep sports fans happy but there is so
much more to his life than the game. It sounds like
a cliché but this book really will make you laugh
and cry and at the end of it you want only the best
for Andy in the future. A great read from a really