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Australian Kyle Anderson has died at the age of 33, the Professional Darts Corporation has confirmed.
Anderson played in seven World Championships after making his debut in the 2012-13 event and held a PDC Tour card from 2014 until this year.
His greatest spell came as he won a Players Championship and then the Auckland Darts Masters on the World Series of Darts circuit in 2017. He also had a nine-dart finish in the World Championship to his name.
Anderson had returned to Australia at the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year and relinquished his Tour card in January as he opted to stay in his homeland for family reasons.
PDC president Barry Hearn said: “We send our condolences and best wishes to Kyle’s family and friends at this terribly sad time, particularly his wife and children.
“Kyle’s achievements in his short-lived career were outstanding, notably his Auckland Darts Masters win, and a fitting reward for the sacrifices he made to follow his dream.
“He was a popular player on the Tour and his talent and dedication made him an inspiration to other players around the world.”
Anderson spent four weeks in self-isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 shortly after returning to Australia from the UK at the end of March 2020.
He posted a picture, seemingly of himself in hospital, on his Instagram on August 10 alongside the caption: “Getting all too regular now.”
No cause of death has been revealed for Anderson, nicknamed ‘The Original’.
Tributes poured in from Anderson’s peers, with three-time world champion Michael Van Gerwen tweeting: “A lovely man and always fun to be with, very sorry to hear about Kyle. We had many great games and a fantastic player. A credit to Australian and world darts. RIP mate.”
Phil Taylor, a 14-time world champion, posted: “What terrible news to wake up to what a nice friendly man. @KyleDarts RIP pal. Thoughts go to all your family.”
Gerwyn Price wrote: “Such awful news to wake up to Kyle you was the nicest person in darts always had time for everyone you will be sadly missed sending all my love and strength to your wife and young family RIP brother.”
Anderson’s compatriot Simon Whitlock posted: “Totally gutted to wake to the terrible news about Kyle. Not only a brilliant player but a very nice man. Many times I played against him and loved playing with him. You will be missed Kyle but never forgotten – tragic.”
Gary Anderson said: “Such an inspiration to others I cant believe it sending our love & support to your family & friends. You was one of the nicest guys in darts & we will all miss you! Rip cuz @KyleDarts.”
Adrian Lewis tweeted: “Devastated to hear the news of Kyle Anderson passing away, sending our sincere condolences to Kyle’s wife and children and all of their family.”
Stephen Bunting wrote: “Absolutely gutted hearing the news this morning. RIP Kyle Anderson. The darts world hasn’t been the same with you not around brother. You always made me laugh every time we met. Never a dull moment with you around. We are all gonna miss you mate. Xx”
James Wade posted: “Devastated to wake up to the news this morning of Kyle passing away. He will be missed by all. Kyle was a great funny guy. Always made me laugh! Sending thoughts to all your family.”
Daryl Gurney said: “Rest in peace ‘bro’. Can’t believe the news this morning so so sad the nicest man in darts. Rest well Kyle.”
Mark Webster tweeted: “Awful news about Kyle Anderson. A great guy who made massive sacrifices to pursue his dream. Rip mate.”