THE legacy of a talented darts player is being honoured four years on since his tragic death.

Nikki Lavery died in December 2017 after struggling with mental health issues.

The 32-year-old was well-known among local darts leagues as captain of the Last Orders in Barrow and reached the finals of the The Mail's Darts Championship in 2017.

The dad-of-four was 'part of the furniture' at Last Orders, now known as The Waterloo Pub, regularly competing in their darts competitions.

Friend Kevin Hubbold described him as full of 'charm and laughter' and the 'life and soul' of the pub.

"He would do anything for anyone no matter how big or small," the shipyard worker said.

"He would lift the atmosphere in the pub. We used to say he was part of the furniture because he'd be in the pub so often.

"It was always full of laughter when he was in. He really was the life and soul of the pub."

Mr Hubbold, whose parents Sharon and Kevin run The Waterloo Pub, felt intent on honouring Mr Lavery's life by creating a memorial darts competition in his memory.

He said: "I know another pub had created a competition for him but I felt it was important for us to do one because this was home. He spent so much time at Last Orders.

"We wanted to continue his legacy at the pub so people can remember him for years to come.

"We'd originally scheduled the competition for March last year but obviously that had to be cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.

"We thought December would be the right time to do it."

The Nikki Lavery Memorial Darts Competition will raise funds for the mental health charity Mind in Furness which, Mr Hubbard said, needs donations 'more than ever'.

"I've been contacting supermarkets and rugby and football teams to see if they can donate anything to auction off," he said.

"We want to put any funds raised to Mind in Furness who really need our donations.

"Depression sometimes is silent and you don't know someone is suffering.

"I struggle with mental health and depression myself and know how important it is to speak out about how you're feeling.

"It can affect anyone and we all need to learn to speak out more and seek help.

"Nikki was a bright spark in the pub who is missed a huge amount. Hopefully we can continue his legacy with hosting a competition in the sport he loved to play."

The Nikki Lavery Memorial Darts Competition is due to take place at The Waterloo Pub on Saturday December 4. The winner will take home the £300 prize along with the prestigious Nikki Lavery Memorial Shield. All are invited to enter the competition.

If you would like to make a donation online to Mind in Furness, visit:

If you are struggling, contact Samaritans on 116 123, or Mind on 0300 123 3393.