Darts league cannot decide if ‘Viking’ can play or not

Darts dispute: Martin Watkinson, landlord of the White Bear and (below) Andy Fordham

Darts dispute: Martin Watkinson, landlord of the White Bear and (below) Andy Fordham

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A former world darts champion is in limbo over whether he can turn out for a pub team.

Andy Fordham, who won the BDO world championship in 2004, has been recruited to play for the White Bear in Adlington, near Chorley.

Andy Fordham

Andy Fordham

But the Chorley Darts and Dominoes League has not given him the go ahead. A vote on whether Londoner Andy – nicknamed The Viking – should be allowed to turn out for the village local at a meeting of 15 clubs in Chorley on Tuesday night was split 7-7, with one abstention.

The dispute centres around a league ruling which states county or country players cannot play if they do not live in the borough. Now the wording of the rule may have to be changed.

White Bear landlord Martin Watkinson invited Andy, who lives in London, to play for his darts team when he is in the area. The pair have been friends for 20 years after meeting through darts competitions and see each other about once a month.

Martin, who attended the meeting, claimed the league chairman said the rule is worded wrongly.

County or international players can play as long as they live in the borough of Chorley

“County or international players can play as long as they live in the borough of Chorley,” said Martin. “But he is also saying a professional is also classed as an international. That’s not in the rules. Andy’s not an international or county player any more.”

The league chairman, who asked not to be named, confirmed the voting and said: “That’s how it stands at the moment. The committee are going to have to discuss it.”

He said the rule needed altering, adding; “We can’t do that until the AGM, so I’ve been told. I don’t know when that will be. It’s finding time to get everybody together.”