Stoke & Staffordshire

Eric Bristow: Funeral held for former darts world champion

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Media captionBristow's funeral was held on Tuesday

Tributes have been paid to darts legend Eric Bristow at his funeral in Staffordshire.

Bristow, nicknamed the Crafty Cockney, died on 5 April after suffering a heart attack and collapsing at a Premier League event at Liverpool's Echo Arena.

A private ceremony was held on Tuesday afternoon at Camountside Crematorium in Stoke-on-Trent where guests were asked to wear darts or football shirts.

Bristow was world champion five times between 1980 and 1986.

The funeral service was held a day before what would have been his 61st birthday.

It was followed by celebrations at The Rewind Bar in Leek, Staffordshire.

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Image caption Eric Bristow died of a heart attack after collapsing at the Echo Arena in Liverpool

Bristow, who was awarded an MBE for his services to sport in 1989, also won five World Masters titles and was a founder player when the PDC was formed in 1993.

He also worked as a TV pundit and appeared on the ITV show I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here in 2012.

Bristow was born in Stoke Newington but settled in the Staffordshire Moorlands, and at one time ran the Swan Hotel in Leek with his friend Barry Birch who said it was a "very sad day."

"He was just accepted. Eric mixed with anybody. He'd do what he felt comfortable with. He was comfortable with people," he added.

"Not just the town of Leek will show up but most of the country is going to turn out in force because he was popular all over the country, and the world."

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Media captionDarts legend Bobby George says Eric Bristow lived life his way

Players past and present and figures from across the darts world put out their messages of support to Bristow's friends and family.

Commentator Stuart Pyke described Bristow as "one of the greatest".

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