Darts in mourning as legendary commentator Sid Waddell passes away
12:18 GMT, 12 August 2012
Darts broadcaster Sid Waddell has died at the age of 72.
Waddell had been battling bowel cancer since last September and the news of his death was confirmed on Sunday.
Scroll down for Waddell quotes compilation video
Voice of darts: Legendary commentator Sid Waddell has passed away
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.
Insight: Waddell offered superb knowledge of darts and spoke with humour
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.
Broad palate: As well as commentating, Waddell also wrote books
'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
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.'
In action: Waddell loved the game
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney Tweeted: 'Sad news to hear about sid waddell. Made darts so much better to watch. He will be missed. Legend. RIP SID'.
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.'
SOME OF THE GREAT WADDELL QUOTES
'That was like throwing three pickled onions into a thimble!'
'He's about as predictable as a wasp on speed.'
'Look at the man go, its like trying to stop a waterbuffalo with a pea-shooter.'
'The atmosphere is so tense, if Elvis walked in with a portion of chips, you could hear the vinegar sizzle on them.'
'That's the greatest comeback since Lazarus.'
'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.
'He's as cool as a prized marrow!'
'He looks about as happy as a penguin in a microwave.'
'When Alexander of Macedonia was 33, he cried salt tears because there were no more worlds to conquer….. Bristow's only 27.'
'The pendulum swinging back and forth like a metronome.'
'He's been burning the midnight oil at both ends.'
'That's like giving Dracula the keys to the blood bank'
'This lad has more checkouts than Tescos.'
'Even Hypotenuse would have trouble working out these angles.'
'Steve Beaton – The adonis of darts, what poise, what elegance – a true roman gladiator with plenty of hair wax.'
'Phil Taylor's got the consistency of a planet … and he's in a darts orbit!'