Darts paid an emotional tribute to the legendary Eric Bristow at the Premier League on Thursday night, exactly one week after ‘The Crafty Cockney’ passed away at the age of 60.
The sport was rocked last week after the PDC confirmed that Bristow had died after suffering a heart attack outside Liverpool’s Echo Arena, where he had attended a corporate function ahead of Thursday’s Premier League action on Merseyside.
Nevertheless, the Premier League night in Sheffield gave fans, players and broadcasters the opportunity to pay tribute to the five-time world champion, and the night began with a moving minute’s applause, where the capacity crowd at the FlyDSA Arena broke into a rousing rendition of ‘There’s only one Eric Bristow’.
The remaining eight Premier League players were joined on stage by Bristow’s old sparring partners Keith Deller and Bobby George, whilst the Sky Sports trio of Dave Clark, Wayne Mardle and John Part also joined in with the minute’s applause.
Peter Wright left the stage in tears last week, after news of Bristow’s death broke just before he took to the oche to face Daryl Gurney. However, ‘Snakebite’ paid his respects in only a way he can, courtesy of another fantastic creation by Peter’s wife Jo.
Raymond van Barneveld, tied with Bristow on five world titles- was visibly emotional throughout the tribute. The Dutchman admitted last week that he was ‘devastated’ by Bristow’s sudden death, and raised his hands to the heavens during his walk-on against Daryl Gurney last night.
Some fans were surprised by the absence of Phil Taylor, but ‘The Power’ was tied up with exhibition commitments in Ireland. Despite this, the 16-time world champion spoke movingly about his mentor last week, describing him ‘like a brother’.
Sky Sports’ coverage included a moving video package detailing some of Bristow’s most memorable moments throughout his illustrious career and there were a sea of fans across the arena in Sheffield sporting Brissy’s iconic ‘Crafty Cockney’ shirt. It was an emotional night- that provided a fitting tribute to a darting legend.
Photo Credits: Lawrence Lustig/PDC