Legendary darts broadcaster Sid Waddell dies

 

Darts broadcaster Sid Waddell has died at the age of 72, his manager has confirmed.

Waddell had been battling bowel cancer since last September and the news of his death was confirmed this morning.

A statement from his manager Dick Allix read: "With great sadness, we announce that following a long illness, broadcaster and author Sid Waddell died peacefully with all his family around him late last night, Saturday August 11th, 2012."

Waddell was a central part of Sky Sports' coverage of PDC darts events since 1994 and was known for his colourful and excitable commentary style, with his best-known lines including "There's only one word for it - 'magic darts"'.

He also noted, while watching Eric Bristow become world champion: "When Alexander of Macedonia was 33, he cried salt tears because there were no more worlds to conquer...Bristow's only 27."

Waddell's other commentary work included pool's Mosconi Cup, while he also made a one-off appearance as the BBC National Lottery's "Voice of the Balls".

In addition, he has had 11 books published and wrote the sport-based BBC children's programmes Jossy's Giants and Sloggers, receiving a nomination for best scriptwriter from the Writer's Guild of Great Britain for the latter.

Former players and broadcasting colleagues queued up to pay tribute after news of Waddell's death.

Twice BDO World Championship finalist Bobby George wrote on Twitter: "So sad to hear of the passing of the legend Sid Waddell or Sidly as I used to call him. Sincere condolences go out to the family x."

Wayne Mardle, the 2003 World Matchplay runner-up, added: "So so gutted, The legend Sid Waddell passed away last night. Thoughts are with his family right now."

Sky Sports' Dave Clark, who worked with Waddell for many years, tearfully remembered his former colleague on Sky Sports News.

"He was the voice of darts," said Clark. "Darts isn't going to be the same without Sid Waddell.

"He had a child-like exuberance, he'd be bouncing round like a young puppy in the commentary box, and mix that with the intellect of Einstein.

"He was a brilliant man, a genius of the microphone - I'm going to miss my old mate, that's for sure.

"I know he's been really battling this cancer for a long, long time and what I hear from the family is it's a blessing that he's gone, but a tragedy."

Another of the organisation's presenters, Jeff Stelling, added: "It's shattering news. Back when I was working with him he made more of an impact than any of the players did. He is totally irreplaceable.

"There has never been such a sports commentator to make such an impact. He had a wonderful turn of phrase. He was the leader of the gang and we were all in his gang.

"On the big occasion he was always there - if he wasn't there it wasn't a big occasion. He was the doyen of sports commentating."

BBC Sport's Gary Lineker wrote on Twitter: "See that Sid Waddell has lost his fight with Cancer. He really was the voice of his sport. A brilliant, witty, colourful commentator."

Tributes to Waddell extended beyond sport, with former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott tweeting: "Farewell to Sid Waddell - a man who did so much for darts and voiced so many memorable moments. A double top bloke."

Bristow told Sky Sports News: "Sid was top dog wasn't he? He's not going to be replaced, he was a one-off.

"I remember a game he was commentating on, Cliff Lazarenko was playing Jocky Wilson. Cliff was about 22 stone and Jocky was about 17 stone and he said they were two athletes. I just cracked up."

A statement from Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis read: "We all remember Sid's wonderful words, his great sense of humour and his passion for the sport he loved.

"Sid was a friend to all of us at Sky Sports, at the heart of our darts coverage since the early 1990s. He was a wonderful man and we will miss him deeply.

"Our thoughts are with Irene (his wife) and family at this very sad time."

SID WADDELL'S CLASSIC QUOTES...

"When Alexander of Macedonia was 33, he cried salt tears because there were no more worlds to conquer... (Eric) Bristow's only 27."

"Big Cliff Lazarenko's idea of exercise is sitting in a room with the windows open taking the lid off something cool and fizzy."

"As Freud said to Jung in Vienna, you can psych up too much for a darts match."

"Bristow reasons; Bristow quickens; aaaaah Bristow!"

"Keith Deller's not just an underdog, he's an underpuppy!" - Deller would go on to win the 1983 World Championship final against Bristow with a 138 finish.

"The atmosphere is so tense, if Elvis walked in with a portion of chips, you could hear the vinegar sizzle on them."

"This lad has more checkouts than Tescos."

"If we'd had Phil Taylor at Hastings against the Normans, they'd have gone home."

"William Tell could take an apple off your head, Taylor could take out a processed pea."

"There's only one word for it - 'magic darts'."

PA

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
United States President Barack Obama, right, uses actor Keegan-Michael Key from Key & Peele to play the part of 'Luther, President Obama's anger translator'
video
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions