Shropshire darts player Ted Hankey suffers stroke
Telford's double world darts champion Ted Hankey suffered a stroke in front of hundreds of fans and a television audience of millions as he played in one of the game's biggest tournaments.
Hankey, 44, universally known as The Count, was seen rubbing his eyes and holding his head as lost heavily at the World Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton.
Today his manager revealed the popular star, who has just become a father for the third time, had suffered a mini stroke during the match.
Hankey, who claimed the BDO world title in 2000 and 2009, has now been ordered to rest for six to eight weeks and completely overhaul his lifestyle.
The drama happened on Tuesday when he crashed to a 5-0 defeat to Dutchman Michael van Gerwen.
Manager David Stevenson said medical tests showed he had had a small stroke.
He said today: "He's worn out, tired and lethargic all the time. His cholesterol is through the roof, his blood pressure is through the roof and he's diabetic. He's got to change his lifestyle completely."
After the match during which he missed the board twice, it was revealed that Hankey was suffering from a severe chest infection but, after further tests, Mr Stevenson confirmed he also suffered a transient ischaemic attack.
Some fans took to social networking sites to criticise Hankey, not realising he had been unwell. Mr Stevenson said he had still not ruled out taking legal action.
But he said: "He has had thousands of positive comments and would like to thank all those true fans for their care and support.
Mr Stevenson also said the referee should have stopped the game.
Dave Allen, for tournament organisers the PDC, said the referee twice offered Hankey the chance to concede but he said he was OK.
Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.