Andy Fordham secures Grand Slam of Darts place

Andy Fordham
Andy Fordham beat Mervyn King to win the BDO World Championship in 2004

Former BDO world champion Andy Fordham will play in the Grand Slam of Darts for the first time in November after coming through qualifying.

Fordham has battled a number of health issues since winning the BDO version of the world title at Lakeside in 2004.

The 53-year-old came through a field of almost 200 players in Hull to take one of the two spots on offer.

Fordham and USA's Larry Butler, 58, both won seven matches to qualify for the Grand Slam, held in Wolverhampton.

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Classic Arrows - Fordham v King

The Grand Slam is the only televised event which features players from darts' two rival bodies - the British Darts Organisation and the Professional Darts Corporation.

The BDO will have eight representatives, with the final two qualifiers still to be decided at the European Qualifier later in October.

Fordham defeated Ivy Wieshlow and Scotland's Craig Robertson and Neil McDougall in the early qualifying rounds before eliminating Canada's Jeff Smith - who lost to England's BDO champion Mitchell in this year's semi-finals - in the last 32.

He saw off Tim Jones of Wales to reach the last eight and edged out Northern Irish pair Darren Clifford and Neil Duff with 5-4 victories.

Fordham and Butler join Martin Phillips, Geert de Vos, Mitchell and three-time Lakeside winner Englishman Martin Adams, who will play in the Grand Slam for the first time.

Scott Mitchell tweet
BDO world champion Scott Mitchell was one of several players to celebrate Fordham's achievement