Former darts world champion Jocky Wilson, who died last week, was today put to rest at sea in the traditional Viking fashion, strapped to a burning longboat surrounded with flaming barrels of tar, food offerings to the Gods and a replica model of ‘Bully’ the Bullseye TV quiz show mascot.
Wilson turned professional in 1979 and rose to fame after he claimed the 1982 and 1989 World Championships before raiding the East Coast of Scotland with a hundred crazed men, leaving the streets drenched crimson with the blood of their enemies.
During the eighties Wilson’s career saw him challenge Eric Bristow and John Lowe for the major darts honours on many occasions, before finally slaughtering ‘Crafty Cockney’ Bristow in a fight to the death on a hill outside Doncaster, each man naked save for the Embassy tobacco logo daubed in woad on each buttock.
From his debut at the World Championship in 1979 until 1991 Wilson managed to reach at least the quarter-finals of the tournament on every occasion, massacring the vast majority of his opponents along the way and cementing a reputation as a steady if violent player.
Fifteen-time world champion Phil ‘Longhammer’ Taylor paid tribute to Wilson last month, saying: “He was such a good laugh to be with. Many’s the night we feasted till dawn, despoiling virgins and slaying any who tried to stop us with mighty axes. Got me barred from the Lakeside Country Club for six months, that did.”
Jocky’s last journey will be in the company of the Gods Odin and Thor, who search the battlefields and oches of the land looking for the bravest warriors. He will reside with Thor at his great hall Bilskirnir until Ragnarrok, the twilight of the Gods, when he will join Odin in Valhalla, feasting, fighting and being interviewed by Sid Waddell.