Darts player who set his sights on winning matches
West Country darts players have paid tribute to one of the sport's first stars – Bristol's Kim Brown.
Mr Brown, a father of 10, who has died of cancer aged 81, took up darts when he went to the pub with his father and subsequently played all over the world, including America, Mexico and South Africa – winning the Swedish Open in 1973.
Known as 'the Crafty Fox' Mr Brown, who lived with his wife Ruth, 77, in Minehead Road in the city from 1956 until his death, was respected for his fiercely competitive nature.
He won numerous local tournaments and made the semi-finals of the prestigious News of the World Individual Darts Championship.
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Bristolian Steve Grubb, who plays in the Professional Darts Corporation, said: "When I first started playing 30 years ago, Kim was one of the most respected and one of the strongest players out there.
"Kim was a fierce competitor who would never give up and hated losing. He was a real character who would play in his slippers a lot of the time and played in all the major tournaments. Kim was one of the best in Bristol, which made him one of the best in the country because Bristol was the hotbed of darts."
Mark Dudbridge, of Bradley Stoke, won the PDC World Masters in 2002 and at his peak lost the final of the PDC World Darts Championship to Phil Taylor in 2005.
"Kim was a great player – I know that from dad," Mr Dudbridge said. "He was one of the best around and won many trophies."
Friend Gary Pinker, who runs the League of Experts in Bristol, knew Mr Brown for many years.
He said: "He beat lots of very good players in his time and won the Swedish Open in 1973. He was a real character. One time, he was playing for a team in Montpelier and that year they won 34 trophies."
Known for his quirky nature, Mr Brown once bet Eric Bristow £500 he couldn't beat one of his friends. When Bristow duly wiped the floor with his opponent the future World Champion was bemused that Mr Brown remained so upbeat despite the heavy financial loss. Later Bristow found out that Mr Brown had put side bets on the outcome making himself a cool £2,500.