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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 November, 2004, 23:53 GMT
Taylor wins as Fordham withdraws
Phil Taylor
Taylor had been leading 5-2 when Fordham quit
Phil Taylor has won the Darts Challenge in Purfleet after a dramatic withdrawal by Andy Fordham.

Taylor had been leading 5-2 when Fordham requested a break in the high temperatures at the Essex venue before suffering an asthma attack.

After a lengthy delay to proceedings, Fordham failed to return to action and conceded the game.

"I'm absolutely devastated," said Taylor. "The heat has just taken its toll on him out there."

Taylor and Fordham had looked evenly poised before Taylor began to turn the screw in the seventh set with checkouts of 121 and 124.

Fordham looked to be sweating heavily and asked for a break after the set. He received medical treatment, decided to concede the match before being driven home from the venue by his wife.

"In the seventh set Andy said to me 'I can't breathe properly' so we requested the break, and that was that," said Taylor.

"Andy's size has got a lot to do with it, I think. He's a big lad and it's very, very hot down there. It's 100 degrees plus down there and I think it has taken its toll on him.

"I was worried Andy was not going to pull through. I turned round and he didn't look very well.

"I'm thinking 'oh crikey, I'm going to kill him here'."

"He's got to do something. Andy has told me that he is going to be on `Celebrity Fat Club' and it's going to be the boost that he needed.

"As a friend to Andy, he's got to do it. He has got to drop the weight - and so do I. If he doesn't, it's going to kill him."

Darts giants prepare for showdown
20 Nov 04 |  Other Sport

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