Darts legend Andy Fordham died following organ failure in hospital at the age of 59.
The Viking, crowned BDO world champion at the peak of his career in 2004 was one of the most popular players on the oche.
Tributes have been paid from and wide since his tragic death was announced on Thursday.
However, Fordham – who once weighed 31 stone – had battled health problems during his career and suffered a number of health scares in recent years.
A spokesperson for the Bristol-born thrower confirmed on Friday that he had suffered major organ failure.
His devoted wife Jenny, who was at his bedside as he passed away, said in tribute on Friday: “Andy was, is, and always will be my champion”.
Hauntingly, after his positive Covid test Fordham admitted that he was “terrified” of dying.
He said: “Right now I am just about coping. But I spoke to my doctor who warned me the virus can hit you very quickly.
“My biggest fear is waking up one morning, not being able to breathe and being placed in the back of the ambulance – then not seeing my wife and children again.
“I am staying in my bedroom because my wife, Jenny, has had cancer twice and my father-in-law who lives with us is 87 and is severely disabled.
“For nearly a year we’ve been so careful and followed all the rules. So to be diagnosed now is a massive shock to the system and totally heartbreaking.
“When you get the virus you suddenly realise everything you take for granted. I am sitting thinking a lot about all the things I’d miss if this virus overcomes me, like seeing my grandchildren grow up.
“I’m just hoping and praying I come through it.”
A veritable who’s who from the darts world have paid tribute to Fordham, including old nemesis Phil Taylor.
He said: “When you think of the brightest stars to light up the oche, none of us shone brighter than Andy.
“He was one of our biggest characters, one of the top draws, and everywhere he went, the punters loved him.
“I can’t believe we will never see the big man in a major tournament again – he leaves a void which may never be filled.”
Former darts player and ex-BBC pundit Bobby George added: “Just heard the devastating news that Andy Fordham has passed away. He was a gentle giant and loved by all.
“Our condolences go out to his wife Jenny, family and friends. RIP Andy Fordham, The Viking.”
Rob Cross added: “Such sad news that Andy Fordham has died. A true legend and gentleman of the sport. My thoughts are with his family and friends.”