Eric Bristow: A Darting Life

Eric Bristow (PDC)

DURING his 60-year life, Eric Bristow became known worldwide for his unprecedented darting achievements as well as his unique character.

The first player to win five World Championship titles, he also achieved the same number of World Masters wins in a record which stands to this day.

He also helped to launch the career of Phil Taylor by sponsoring his protege during the late 1980s - a move which came back to haunt him in the 1990 World Championship final.

Having concluded his playing career, Bristow worked for Sky Sports as both a spotter and as part of their presentation team, and remained a popular figure on the exhibition circuit.

Here, we look back on the life of darts' first superstar...

1957 - Eric Bristow born on April 25 in London.

1976 - Is given "Crafty Cockney" nickname after visiting a pub of the same name in California.

1977 - Wins World Masters title, defeating Paul Reynolds 3-1 in final.

1978 - Is defeated 6-3 by Conrad Daniels in the first round of the inaugural BDO World Championship.

1979 - Wins second World Masters title, defeating Allan Hogg 2-0 in final.

Eric Bristow (courtesy
1980 - Defeats Bobby George 5-3 to win first World Championship title.

1981 - Retains World Championship title with 5-3 win over John Lowe – the first player to win the event twice.

1981 - Wins third World Masters, defeating Lowe 2-1 in final.

1983 - Runner-up to Keith Deller in famous World Championship final.

1983 - Wins News of the World Championship, defeating Ralph Flatt in final.

1983 - Wins fourth World Masters, defeating Mike Gregory 2-1 in final to become first player to retain the title.

1984 - Wins third World Championship, defeating Dave Whitcombe 7-1 in final.

1984 - Retains News of the World Championship title with 2-0 win over Ian Robertson in final.

1984 - Wins fifth World Masters title, defeating Deller 3-1 in final. This remains the most World Masters ever won by a player, with Bob Anderson and Martin Adams winning three apiece.

Eric Bristow (courtesy
1985 - Retains World Championship with 6-2 win over John Lowe.

Eric Bristow (courtesy
1986 - Wins fifth World Championship, and becomes first player to record three successive victories as he defeats Whitcombe 6-0.

1987 - Loses 6-4 to John Lowe in World Championship final.

1989 - Loses 6-4 to Jocky Wilson in World Championship final.

1989 - Is awarded MBE for Services to Sport.

1990 - Loses 6-1 to protege Phil Taylor in World Championship final.

1991 - Loses 6-0 to Dennis Priestley in what would become his last World Championship final.

1993 - Is one of 14 players who leave BDO to form WDC (later PDC).

1997 - Reaches PDC World Championship semi-final, losing 5-4 to Taylor following a memorable renaissance.

2000 - Bristow loses 3-2 to Steve Brown in first round of PDC World Championship, in what would be his final appearance in the event.

Eric Bristow & John Lowe (PDC)

2004 - Plays John Lowe in curtain-raiser to The Showdown between Phil Taylor and Andy Fordham at Circus Tavern, winning 6-1.

Eric Bristow & John Lowe with Barry Hearn (PDC)

2005 - Inducted into PDC Hall of Fame alongside great rival Lowe as the inaugural members.

2007 - Competed in final PDC tournament, losing 5-2 to Colin McGarry in last 64 in World Championship Qualifiers.

Eric Bristow (PDC)

2012 - Stars in ITV's "I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!", finishing fourth.

2018 - Passes away on April 5 following a heart attack.

Images from 1980, 1985 and 1986 World Championship wins used with permission from