Jocky Wilson dies two days after turning 62

Two-time world darts champion Jocky Wilson died on Saturday night at the age of 62.

Wilson turned professional in 1979 and rose to fame after he claimed the 1982 and 1989 World Championships.

A Fife police spokeswoman told the BBC: "The death is non-suspicious and due to a medical matter."

Tommy Cox, who managed Wilson from 1988-1996, said: "In the 1980s there wasn't a person in the country who didn't know who Jocky Wilson was."

JOCKY WILSON PROFILE

  • Real name: John Thomas Wilson
  • Born: 22 March, 1950 in Kirkcaldy, Scotland
  • Turned professional: 1979
  • Retired: 1995
  • BDO World Darts Championship winner: 1982, 1989
  • BDO World Masters best performance: Runner-up - 1982, 1990
  • Other tournament victories: Autumn Gold Masters (1985), British Open (1982), Finland Open (1986), Scottish Masters (1980, 1983, 1984)

He added: "Jocky transcended the whole spectrum of life in the UK. It's a very sad day because Jocky was loved by so many people for the great character he was."

The Kirkcaldy-native, who turned 62 on Thursday, had recently been suffering with the lung disorder chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Fife emergency services were called to his home in the town at 2100 GMT but he was deceased at the scene when an ambulance arrived.

Wilson's career saw him challenge Englishman Eric Bristow and John Lowe for the sport's major honours before his retirement in 1995.

His first victory in the World Championship came in 1982 when he beat Lowe 5-3 in the final.

Seven years later, he beat his other great rival Bristow 6-4, in a match where the "Crafty Cockney" had recovered from 5-0 down to find himself at 5-4 and 2-2 in the tenth set.

From his debut at the World Championship in 1979 until 1991, Wilson managed to reach at least the quarter-finals of the tournament on every occasion.

Wilson also lifted the British Professional Championship four-times between 1981 and 1988, as well as the British Open and Matchplay titles.

A minute's applause was held in his memory ahead of Sunday's UK Open Qualifier in Barnsley, with 194 players joining officials in paying tribute to the Scottish legend.

Jocky Wilson

"Jocky Wilson, a player I rated one of the finest ever, and always enjoyed sharing the Oche, RIP my friend"

Phil Taylor, the 15-time world champion, said: "It's very sad news. When I first started, you wanted to beat Eric Bristow, Bob Anderson and Jocky Wilson.

"He was such a good laugh to be with. People talk about the great characters in darts and he's one of the greatest.

"Jocky had false teeth, and I remember playing snooker with him. He asked someone to clean the white ball and took his teeth out to mark the ball.

"He'd always be doing things like that, and he'd have a great little grin on his face."

Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld said: "It's a sad day for darts. It was a shame he wasn't involved in darts anymore because he was such a hero.

"I remember playing him in my first Europe Cup event in Great Yarmouth in 1988. The Scotland team manager got him fired up and he beat me 4-0."