Former Sky darts commentator John Gwynne dies aged 77

John Gwynne, the voice of Sky Sports’ darts coverage for two decades until he retired in 2013, has died at the age of 77.

Gwynne covered 20 world championships and 20 world matchplays for the broadcaster and was a familiar figure on the network, reporting on football matches on Soccer Saturday and covering sports as diverse as cricket, rugby league and speedway.

His son, Labour’s shadow health minister, Andrew Gwynne, posted on Twitter: “It is with deep sadness that I have to post that my beautiful father passed away this morning at 8.05 am. His 18 month-long battle with cancer is now finally over.”

Among the tributes paid to Gwynne, Jeff Stelling, a fellow Sky Sports presenter, said: “John was blessed with one of the greatest voices of them all, and he put it to good use on Soccer Saturday, whether he was at his beloved Manchester City or Rochdale, describing the action with the same wonderful blend of gravitas, humour and, always, passion.

“I first met John when he was part of the greatest darts commentary team of all time alongside Sid Waddell and Dave Lanning. All three have now sadly passed. I was lucky enough to work with John, laugh with him, sing with him but most of all listen to him. Broadcasting has lost a special voice and a special man.”

Sky Sports’ executive director of content, Steve Smith, said: “We are truly saddened to hear of John’s passing. He was a hugely respected broadcaster, bringing great humour and energy to our screens with one of the legendary voices in the industry.

“A consummate professional, John was a highly-valued member of the Sky Sports family and he will be sorely missed by all.”

Gwynne reported on darts for radio before joining Sky Sports, having worked as a schoolteacher. He inducted into the Professional Darts Corporation’s Hall of Fame in 2014.