World of Sport

‘Drunk’ darts player Hankey had actually suffered stroke

Darts fans have been forced to apologise to former BDO world champion Ted Hankey after accusing him of playing while drunk - when in fact he had suffered a stroke.

The 44-year-old, nicknamed 'The Count', was ridiculed after a poor performance at the Grand Slam of Darts last Tuesday.

Hankey appeared disoriented and suffered a comprehensive 5-0 defeat to Michael van Gerwen, in which he averaged just 59 and missed the board twice.

After the match, Hankey apologised for his performance, saying: "I was shocking I have had the flu since sun(day) night and couldn't see out my left eye".

However, this could not stem a tide of criticism accusing him of drunkenness - Hankey retweeted several abusive comments on his Twitter page. One leading bookmaker even refunded losing bets on him.

But his manager David Stevenson has revealed the results of a hospital CT scan showing that Hankey suffered a stroke.

Stevenson tweeted: "The docs have confirm (sic) that @TedHankeyDarts has had a stroke he's got very high cholesterol and blood pressure and diabetes got to have 6/8 weeks rest and will need more tests in the coming weeks the doctors report will confirm this might use it to sue the people that have been defer-mating (sic) Teds character."

Former world champion John Lowe said: "I am sure we all wish him well," while PDC player Kevin Painter said: "Here's wishing Ted Hankey a speedy recovery. Get well soon pal."

And fans who mocked Hankey earlier in the week have been forced into a climbdown.

A darts forum has published an apology, while one fan tweeted: "Heres wishing Ted Hankey all the best with his health and apologies if any of my Tweets regarding him upset anybody :)"