Eric Bristow

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Eric Bristow MBE is a British darts player born in Hackney, London on the 25th April 1957. Throughout his career, he was known as the "Crafty Cockney"

Career

He won his first world championship against fellow Londoner Bobby George in 1980. He went on to retain his title as World Champion in 1981 and win it again in 1984, 1985 and 1986 although he had to cope also with a surprise defeat in 1983 when the then unknown Keith Deller beat him in the 1983 final. He has finished as runner-up on four other occasions up to 1991.

Showmanship

His best known nickname, the Crafty Cockney, was given to Bristow when he visited an pub of the same name. The name stuck with him throughout his career. Always a flamboyant character, he wore a shirt showing a British policeman, the Union Jack and his title "Crafty Cockney" whenever he played.

Bristow became well known for his playing style, which involved sticking out his little finger when holding a dart. "My perked up right pinkie" he called it and it led to widespread discussion about his playing technique. When finally asked about it, Bristow admitted his style was "just for show".

Always a larger than life character, he would frequently wind up his opponents during matches with his renowned wit and visual japes. This was seen by some as poor sportsmanship and earned him the less complimentary nickname of "Dirty Bristow". Few would accuse him of this however, he was well known for his joking antics and japery.

Bristow was awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for his services to sport.

Controversy

Although marrying his wife Jane in 1989, Bristow was accused of assault on her in 2005. Magistrates ordered him to stay away from the family home and he was remanded on conditional bail. Bristow was alleged to have punched her in the face during a drunken row. He was eventually cleared of the charges although his wife later filed for divorce.

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