TRIBUTES have poured in from the world of darts for PDC co-founder Tommy Cox, who passed away on Wednesday following illness, aged 72.

A former players' manager, Tommy linked up with Dick Allix and John Markovic alongside 14 stars of the sport to form the World Darts Council (now PDC) in 1993.

Tommy took on the role of Tournament Director, a position he held for over 20 years until his retirement in 2015 as he organised the formats and smooth running of PDC events.

He was inducted into the PDC Hall of Fame in 2010 alongside Allix, recognising their contribution in the formation and success of the Professional Darts Corporation.

PDC players and officials minute's applause for Tommy Cox (PDC)

Since his passing on Wednesday, touching tributes have been paid by PDC players, officials and supporters, including a minute's applause before Thursday evening's play at the bwin Grand Slam of Darts (pictured).

PDC Chairman Barry Hearn

"Tommy's contribution to our formation can never be under-stated and will never be forgotten.

"He was known and respected throughout the sport and I know that he was proud of the worldwide growth of the PDC since he stood shoulder to shoulder with Dick and the players during darts' split.

"I can honestly say that Tommy was one of the primary reasons why I got involved in darts. He encouraged me to get into the sport and it's something I'll never forget.

"Although he had retired, Tommy was still involved in darts in recent years and will be sadly missed."

PDC Director Marcus Robertson 

"Tommy Cox was, more than any other individual, the founding father of the modern day PDC and the sport of darts.

"His 100% belief that darts had a better future that could only be provided by the PDC has been proved by the last 25 years as the sport has grown across the globe.

"At heart more than anything else Tommy was a true lover of the sport of darts and darts players. The current and future generations of Players are reaping the rewards that his tenacity and, he would admit, occasional sheer singleness of purpose, have created."

PDC Director Rod Harrington

"The PDC wouldn't where it is today if it wasn't for Tommy. He was so strong - bombastic in a way - and such a great character and he believed in the cause, which made everyone else stay strong around him, including me.

"He became a very close friend, especially during the split. We've had some good times over the years and we had a lot of respect for each other."

PDC Co-Founder Dick Allix

PDC Chief Executive Matthew Porter

16-time World Champion Phil Taylor

Two-time World Champion Dennis Priestley

1983 World Champion Keith Deller

Sky Sports Commentator John Gwynne

PDC Players:

Rob Cross

Gary Anderson

Raymond van Barneveld

Mensur Suljovic

Simon Whitlock

Jamie Lewis

Kim Huybrechts

Robbie Green

Kevin Painter