Sky Sports Darts presenter Dave Clark pays tribute to Eric Bristow
"It only really sunk in for me on Friday what had happened. It was a crazy night"
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 07/04/18 4:43pm
Sky Sports Darts presenter Dave Clark has reflected on an "emotionally charged" night in Liverpool following the death of Eric Bristow.
The five-time world champion suffered a heart attack after attending a corporate event in Liverpool ahead of Thursday's Premier League fixture at the Echo Arena.
The Professional Darts Corporation announced his death midway through the night's play, with fans breaking into a spontaneous rendition of "There's only one Eric Bristow". Rod Studd stopped commentating out of respect.
Wayne Mardle was left heartbroken after being interviewed by Clark on Sky Sports News while fellow pundit John Part could not bring himself to speak following the sad news.
Now host Clark, who had known the 'Crafty Cockney' for nearly 20 years has spoken highly of the man who was the biggest name in darts throughout the 1980s.
"He was a really top guy," Clark told Sky Sports. "I just think he was star quality. Even walking down the road with Eric Bristow and a journey that should take you five minutes would take you half-an-hour because everybody would want to stop and take a photo with him.
"He was just so recognisable from the 1980s winning all those world titles, 10 world championship finals he was in as well - just star quality. He was a big man, very distinctive looking, everybody recognised him.
"Builders on sites saying, 'Brissy, give us a wave' top man - a real top man. When there were three television channels back in the day, the world championship would be box office and he was dominating darts."
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Keith Deller, who beat Bristow in the 1983 BDO World Championship final - one of the tournament's biggest shocks, worked with Bristow closely at Sky Sports and Clark praised 'The Milky Bar Kid' for keeping his composure live in air.
Remember, without Eric, there would be no Phil Taylor. Bristow's notoriety just transcends the sport.
Dave Clark on Bristow
"In 1983 when he lost to Keith Deller in the final and Dellar took out the 138, that was amazing, and I think there was something like 17 million people watching the darts. That was phenomenal," said Clark.
"Credit to Keith talking about him live on air. He's known him for the best part of forty years. Wayne Mardle was in pieces and John Part couldn't speak, so it really was an emotionally charged night. It only really sunk in for me on Friday what had happened. It was a crazy night.
"Players said Bristow had beaten them before they had been on stage because of his mind games. He said to Rod Harrington 'do you hold your breath before you throw your darts' before the match and Rod would be thinking about that the whole game.
Mardle 'heartbroken' by Bristow death
Eric Bristow was one of the superstars of sport, says Wayne Mardle
Found this on my phone and had a good cry. Eric was a free spirit Rude, Arrogant, Sarcastic and funny, really, funny. He had a few pints last night, entertained the guests, then ...— Dave Clark (@DaveClarkTV) April 6, 2018
The crowd sang his name and Liverpool said goodbye to one of life’s great characters. #RIPEric pic.twitter.com/4WTwxgdgfU
"Bristow was the showman, the arrogance, the confidence. He's say to people 'why have you turned up?' 'why are you here? you're not going to beat me'.
"Remember, without Eric, there would be no Phil Taylor. Bristow's notoriety just transcends the sport. He gave it plenty on and off the board."
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