Barry Hearn leads tributes to "legend" Eric Bristow

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Eric Bristow, one of darts' greatest ever players, passed away at the age of 60 on Thursday evening following a heart attack.

Darts legend Eric Bristow has died.

In 2016, the pair teamed up for the inaugural Bristow/Deller Open Pairs Darts Tournament at Mildenhall Sports Centre in Ipswich. We shared some lovely moments and laughed so much together.

And professional snooker player, Ronnie O'Sullivan, wrote: "Just heard the terrible news about Eric Bristow". Everyone loved Eric for that. "I'm just glad I didn't get it 15 years earlier". To beat Eric in the final, it could not have been any better for me.

"It is a very sad night".

"His friend was panicking and I knew someone needed to take control of the situation, so I stepped in".

Former Romford resident Graham Booth told the Recorder that he remembers Eric and said that his aunty used to play darts in the pub.

"Eric will go down like an absolute superstar of sport".

"Eric was a person who said what he thought and wouldn't talk behind your back".

"He had that star quality".

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He later apologised for his comments, describing himself as a "bull in a China shop" and said he "appreciated my wording was wrong and offended many people".

Now fans have been paying tribute by remembering presenter Ant McPartlin's impression of Eric from the show.

In the 1980s, Bristow owned a pub in Stoke-on-Trent, which he called The Crafty Cockney, where a young metalworker named Phil Taylor would drop in to hone his skills at the dartboard.

PDC chairman Barry Hearn said: "Eric will always be a legend in the world of darts and British sport".

"I do remember him in there along with Keith Deller (who I think lived in the area at the time)". True legend in the game!

Bristow had a big impact on Raymond van Barneveld, who tweeted: "Eric Bristow died tonight".

"It really shocked me bad, I was gutted".

Fellow Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld wrote on Twitter: "He was darts he meant so much to me, can not believe it!"

Taylor went on to defeat Bristow in the 1990 World Championship final, while a 6-0 defeat to Dennis Priestley the following year proved to be his last appearance in a televised final. "Get Me Out Of Here".