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Eric Bristow recalls darts legend Sid Waddell during Bingley exhibition
Five-times world champion Eric Bristow MBE has paid tribute to darts commentator Sid Waddell, who died in August aged 72.
The ‘Crafty Cockney’, who attended Waddell’s funeral at Pudsey Parish Church, was back in West Yorkshire for a charity darts exhibition at York Street Sports & Social Club in Bingley.
Bristow said of Waddell: “He brought intelligence, knowledge and humour to the sport. I commentated with him many a time and his comments were not rehearsed.
“Many’s the time when he used to ‘put me under the table’ for a minute. There used to be this silence from me as I was too busy laughing!”
Waddell died after a battle against bowel cancer and Bristow said: “I think we all knew what was coming.
“Sid always used to sit in the same chair at the World Championships and it was empty last time around. No-one sat in it.”
Bristow, who would neither confirm nor deny that he is taking part later this year in I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, added: “Funerals are never great but Sid’s was as nice as it could be.
“I got there early at about 10.30am and we were looking for a pub to have two or three jars before the service, which started at 12.30pm.
“The first one we tried was shut but then we found one that had a picture of Sid on the wall (in the pool room at the Mason’s Arms).
“Keith Deller and I flagged down ‘Freddie’ Flintoff and it ended up with 30 of us drinking in what was his local. That was nice. The church was lovely too.”
The evening raised £1,400 for one-year-old Mia Brown from Bingley, who needs pioneering stem-cell treatment in America.
A total of £1,000 was raised from the auction of a selection of framed sporting prints, while £400 came from the raffle.
Three players who had come through qualifying competitions – Mark Sutton, Dale Evans and Nick Coward – beat Bristow in games of 501 up, while Steve Smith, Ted Heald, Richard ‘Skip’ Turner, Alan Mercer, Danny Nommik and Stephen Dixon were defeated.
Five players were pulled out of the raffle to face the five-times World Masters champion – Karen Preston, Karen Capitano, Sam Bailey, Bill Marshall and ‘Gilly Lad’ – and the MC was an under-the-weather Paul Booth from Sky Sports.
Other events in the pipeline from Bingley promoter Mick Speight are evenings with former Arsenal and England footballer Ray Parlour (next month) and ex-world heavyweight boxing champion Frank Bruno (February).