Legendary broadcaster Dave Clark has announced he is to leave his role as presenter of Sky Sports’ darts coverage after 18 years.
Clark, 53, has been integral to Sky’s coverage of PDC darts since taking over from Jeff Stelling back in 2002.
The proud Yorkshireman was originally a radio broadcaster before becoming part of the original Sky Sports News presentation team and fronting Sky’s Boxing coverage.
Clark’s love for darts quickly shone through in his affectionate style and his contribution was marked with an induction into the PDC Hall of Fame in 2018.
He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2011, and despite being told by doctors he had only a couple of years remaining in front of the cameras, Clark powered on and continued to be at the forefront of the growing sporting phenomenon.
Since revealing the diagnosis two years later, Clark has raised over £500,000 for the Parkinson’s UK charity and proudly adopted a role as one of their celebrity ambassadors.
He announced the decision to leave the role with immediate effect on Sunday evening, explaining: “When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a ‘specialist’ said I’d only be able to present live sport for two or three more years.
“Nearly a decade after that diagnosis, I can still present live television, on stage, in front of 10,000 people. I’ve decided I want to stop now, still in control, still able to do the job, still able to enjoy it.
“The last thing I want is for someone to throw in the towel for me or for darts fans to feel uncomfortable or sorry for me as my Parkinson’s progresses.
“Lockdown has given us all a lot of time to think, on occasions too much time, but it’s given me time to sort out my priorities. Family comes first.
“I’m keen to spend more days with my wife and two sons. Time is a real luxury that so many have been denied during this difficult period.
“I’m NOT giving up on life, just stopping doing the darts. I intend to keep busy, writing a book about my time presenting during some of the sport’s greatest years.
“I’m hoping to stay involved in broadcasting in some capacity and will continue to raise awareness of Parkinson’s and fundraising to find a cure through my chosen charity Parkinson’s UK.”
He added: “Sky have been very supportive over the years, it’s 100% my decision to check out of the darts.
“I’m really proud to have launched Sky Sports News, anchored the darts throughout its meteoric rise and presented the boxing, including Ricky Hatton’s biggest fights, some of Carl Froch’s memorable nights and Anthony Joshua’s pro debut.
“It’s been a fabulous journey with some incredible people. It’s not the end, just the start of the next chapter in my life.”
Clark has fronted Sky’s darts coverage throughout the PDC’s incredible rise, including the World Championship’s move from the Circus Tavern to Alexandra Palace in 2007/08 and the Premier League’s annual roadshow of sell-out arenas across Europe.
He has gained the respect of players, fans and colleagues worldwide through his professionalism and spirit and has been inundated with well-wishing messages since announcing his decision.