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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 January 2007, 17:13 GMT
Fordham targets Lakeside return
Andy Fordham
Fordham claimed the Lakeside world title in 2004
Andy Fordham hopes to be released from hospital in time to personally thank his fans after falling ill at the Lakeside World Darts Championship.

The former world champion was taken from the venue on a stretcher on Monday after suffering breathing problems.

But the 26-stone player is recovering after having fluid drained from a lung.

His wife Jenny told BBC Sport: "If they let him out of hospital this week, I think he'll want to come back and say hello to everyone."

The 44-year-old, nicknamed 'The Viking', forfeited his first-round match against Australia's Simon Whitlock after he collapsed at the Frimley Green club and was carried to an ambulance on Monday.

Fans sang 'There's only one Andy Fordham' during the evening's play as darts legend Bobby George donned a Viking helmet in tribute during an exhibition game.

Mrs Fordham said her husband, a Kent publican, was "miserable" after missing out on the world championship, but "relieved" he was not as badly ill as first feared.

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"He's disappointed, but says thanks to everybody," she said at the Lakeside club in Surrey, where the BDO world final will be contested on Sunday.

Doctors diagnosed Fordham had a serious chest infection.

Fordham has previously declared he likes to warm up for a match by drinking more than 20 bottles of Pils lager and eating six steak and kidney pies.

He was a contestant on the TV programme Celebrity Fit Club, where he lost four stone, but later said it was the worst experience of his life.

"I know lots of people say he's overweight and he drinks too much, but I don't know if his illness was drink-related or weight-related. He's got an infection in his lung," said Mrs Fordham.

"Hopefully, he'll be back soon. Andy is very emotional so I imagine there would be a few tears if he came back to the Lakeside."

SEE ALSO
Fordham clinches Lakeside title
11 Jan 04 |  World Darts 2004
Viking plunders darts crown
12 Jan 04 |  World Darts 2004
Taylor wins as Fordham withdraws
21 Nov 04 |  Other Sport...
Darts results
12 Oct 00 |  Darts


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