'Voice of darts' John Gwynne dies as Labour MP son pays tribute

Shadow health minister Andrew Gwynne shared the sad news about his dad

Published

Former darts commentator John Gwynne has died aged 77 following his battle with cancer.

Gwynne spent 20 years as the voice of darts on Sky Sports and was a regular reporter on Soccer Saturday. He also covered cricket, rugby league and speedway before he retired in 2013.

Shadow health minister Andrew Gwynne shared the sad news alongside a picture of him holding his dad's hand.

He wrote: "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."

John Gwynne
John Gwynne

Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling paid tribute to his former colleague, saying: “John was blessed with one of the greatest voices of them all.

“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.”

Undated handout photo issued by Prostate Cancer UK of Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling
Undated handout photo issued by Prostate Cancer UK of Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling

Gwynne, born in Shropshire in 1945, attended Chorlton Grammar School in Manchester before becoming an English teacher and his first job in media was as a speedway commentator for Piccadilly Radio in Manchester.

Gwynne joined Sky Sports in 1993 and commentated on the first WDC World Championship at the Circus Tavern in 1994 when he and co-commentator Lanning were joined by Waddell.

The Professional Darts Corporation, current and former darts players and Manchester City were among those to pay tribute to Gwynne, who covered 20 World Darts Championships and 20 World Darts Matchplays.

The PDC said: “The PDC is saddened to learn that Hall of Fame member and legendary commentator John Gwynne passed away on Saturday morning following his battle with cancer. Our thoughts and condolences go to his family and friends.”