60 seconds with Andy Fordham

Tue, 10 Aug 10:53:00 2010

Eurosport spent 60 seconds with darts hero Andy Fordham - well, more like 360 - to hear tales of Jorvik Viking Museum, Andy Goram and drinking 62 beers in a day.

- 0

Your nickname was 'The Viking' - ever been to the Jorvik Viking Museum in York?

Yes, I have, a few years ago for a TV station. It was very good.

60 seconds liked it as a kid. It's had a refurb since then though.

What was weird was when we went to a nearby village where people live as Vikings: they dress like them, build things with tools like them. They had me walk into a cloud of mist and come out the other side dressed as a Viking...

Be honest: did you quite like the attention when you became known for exiting tournaments in semi-finals?

They called me the Jimmy White of darts. That was nice because he's a big name and, having met him a few times, a lovely bloke. But it was also horrible because of the reason for the name.

You were known for your hard drinking of course. When you quit did you have to relearn how to play darts?

I had to change my action: I went from a 19g dart to 22g. Everyone said it looked the same from behind, but it wasn't. The most difficult thing was in the mind: you don't want to look a prat and that affects you. And when I say look a prat I mean aiming for the 20 and hitting the 12!

60 seconds recently put up a dartboard but despite practising is basically crap. What is the best drill to improve your game?

The best thing is always to play someone. On your own you think about how you're holding the dart, standing and all that; when you play someone you focus on beating them and just do it. It's like a footballer needing to get match fit - running on its own isn't enough, you need to play in games.

You used to play when you were younger - have you taken it up again after losing so much bodyweight?

No, I can't, not with my back. I do miss playing because I love my football. I went from 31 stone to 16 in a year, and it was too much. Everyone would say I looked well but I looked in the mirror and knew I looked horrible. I'm back up to 22 or 23 stone now. I've got to lose some of that though.

How much did you used to drink a day?

People said I had a case of Pils a day with brandy and vodka on top of that. I think my record was 62 bottles - and then I went on the spirits. On a bender, like a three-week tournament, I'd start at 10 or 11 in the morning and carry on through, every day.

You must have had some really bad hangovers.

You've got to stop drinking to get a hangover. So I never really had them.

Was there an embarrassing moment due to the booze?

Not really, no. I fell over and broke my wrist but that wasn't the drink.

Do people still try to buy you drinks?

It's more that if I'm at the darts a group of lads will come back with a load of beers and offer me one. I tell them I'd love to, but I can't, and the recognition dawns on them and they apologise. It's never malicious - but if it were they'd be in their right to, as I've only myself to blame.

What was your bar snack of choice? Have you given up these too?

When I stopped drinking they told me I had to eat eight times a day: three nice meals and snacks. I never really ate before. So I gave up booze - and now I have to give up eating.

Have you been forced to develop your culinary expertise in order to cook more?

I'm very lucky that my wife Jenny has helped me in everything, including that. To tell you the truth, I don't think I'd be here today talking to you if it wasn't for her.

Do you still run a pub?

Nah, not for a while now. And it's strange but being around the drink meant I got used to not drinking quicker: it would have been more frustrating not being there and thinking 'I could nip down the pub'.

What would you have done if you hadn't become a darts player?

I did plumbing as an apprentice for two years, not the full four, so maybe that. Or I would have been a lazy f*****.

Who was your sporting hero growing up?

George Best. It's funny: we both had long hair, liked football and liked a beer.

Apparently you're a Rangers fan - how did that come about?

I had family in Scotland and used to go when I was up there. With the darts I got to know some of the players really well and fell in love: it's like one big family. Back in London Millwall became my club - I used to watch Charlton with a mate when I was younger - and I think Millwall got their blue shirts off Rangers. The Den is like a mini Ibrox.

Which players did you know well?

Andy Goram is a good mate of mine: he was best man at my wedding. (Do you know the chant about him?) What, there's only two Andy Gorams? There's more than that mate, he's a lunatic. Then Mark Hateley, McCoist, Durranty, all the old boys.

You must be a happy man then this season.

I heard there was a robbery in Celtic's trophy room: two geezers were seen carrying out a green and white carpet.

Jonathan Symcox / Eurosport

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account