Sky Sports Darts commentator Sid Waddell has lost his fight with bowel cancer, dying late last night age 72.
In a statement, his manager Dick Allix said he “died peacefully with all his family around him late last night”. Waddell had revealed he had cancer September last year, and hoped to fight back and did make a partial return to the commentary box in 2012, after missing the PDC World Championships in December.
Born in Alnwick, in the North East, Waddell had a very exciting and enthusiastic commentary style with a tremendous turn of phrase. He had commentated for the BBC for many years and moved to Sky when the PDC was set up in the 1990s.
In 1999 he was the “Voice of the Balls” on BBC One’s National Lottery Red once but afterwards he claimed he was sacked for being “too Geordie”. Waddell also produced BBC children’s series including Sloggers and Jossy’s Giants and ITV Sports programme Indoor League.
Sky Sports’ Darts presenter Dave Clark, had Waddell for many years, described him as “a brilliant man, a genius of the microphone”
Fellow Sky colleague, Jeff Stelling, said: “Back when I was working with him he made more of an impact than any of the players did. He is totally irreplaceable.”
BBC Sport’s Gary Lineker wrote on Twitter: “He really was the voice of his sport. A brilliant, witty, colourful commentator.”
Prior to his sports commentary he had been a producer, of national and regional programming, for several ITV companies including Granada, Tyne Tees and Yorkshire Television.