Darts star Eric Bristow wrote that he felt like his heart was “going to explode” on the day he died, his grieving partner has said.
Despite feeling unwell, the former five-time world champion wrote in a diary entry “the show must go on”, and carried on with engagements until he collapsed.
Bristow, 60, suffered a heart attack after attending a corporate event ahead of a match in Liverpool on April 5.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Bex Gadd said: “It’s so Eric to say ‘the show must go on’. He lived for darts and sadly died for it too. It was everything to him.”
In the note, Bristow said he was “feeling bad” on the morning of the Premier League fixture at the Echo Arena.
“Cold sweats. It feels like my heart is going to explode. Don’t like it. Going to Echo. The show must go on,” the note said.
The Professional Darts Corporation announced his death midway through the night’s play, with fans breaking into a spontaneous rendition of “There’s only one Eric Bristow”.
The commentary was stopped out of respect.
Bristow’s loss devastated fellow players and darts watchers, as well as fans he earned through his appearance on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here, which saw him finish fourth in 2012.
Known as the “Crafty Cockney”, he won his first world title in 1980, beating Bobby George in a thrilling match which captured the imagination of the sporting public.
The pair had been friends since their teens and shared a last drink together on the day he died.
George told BBC Radio Two he was “gutted” at losing his friend.
He said: “Eric lived on a dartboard every day. He had one week at a job before he gave that the elbow to keep to the darts, which he did well.”