Former World Darts Champion Eddie Brown is remembered as a ‘phenomenal’ player
Tributes have been paid to a former Suffolk world darts champion who has died at the age of 78.
Eddie Brown, of Stonham Parva, was described as a “phenomenal” darts player and “a genius” at the game.
Mr Brown was in his mid 20s when he won the News of the World darts championship – regarded as the world title at the time – in April 1962.
He beat Dennis Follett from Devon two legs to nil at the Alexandra Palace in London, after being runner-up the previous year.
A regular in Stonham Magpie’s pub team the farm worker’s victory came on the same day Ipswich Town secured the First Division Championship beating Aston Villa 2-0 at home.
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To celebrate the joint triumph the-then Ipswich Town chairman John Cobbold took a squad of players and the Championship trophy over to the Stonham Magpie.
Mr Brown was found dead at his cottage in Stonham Parva last Wednesday.
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Fellow Suffolk World Darts Champion Keith Deller, who won the title in 1983, said: “I was very young when I knew Eddie.
“I remember playing in competitions when I used to play at the Albion Mills pub in Ipswich and Eddie would come and play in them.
“He was a brilliant darts player and a great character.
“He could have gone on the circuit, but he was a farmer who enjoyed what he was doing. He was a country boy who used to love his darts.
“Eddie would never say a bad word about anybody. You could imagine him turning up on a tractor, coming into the pub and beating everybody. That was Eddie.”
Mr Brown worked on the same farm owned by William Hamilton for around 50 years and gave up darts in his 60s to look after his large allotment.
Janet Wright ran a garage in Stonham Parva with her husband Alan for many years. The couple were close friends of Mr Brown.
She said: “Eddie was such a character and we all loved him.
“He was devoted to his darts, but he got as much pleasure going round the village on his bicycle dropping off vegetables to people as he did anything.”
George Finbow, of Stonham Parva, was a lifelong friend and a member of the Stonham Magpie darts team in which Mr Brown played.
He said: “Eddie was a phenomenal darts player who was a hero in the villages and in Ipswich after his success in London.
“He was dedicated to the game from an early age.
“He was so modest about his darts, but we all knew him to be an absolute genius when it came to the sport.”