Leeds funeral for 'voice of darts' Sid Waddell

Sid Waddell
Sid Waddell Photo: PA

The world of darts will remember commentator Sid Waddell today as his friends and family gather for his funeral in Leeds.

Waddell died earlier this month at the age of 72 following a battle against bowel cancer.

He was one of the most recognisable figures in the sport, famed for his unique one-liners delivered in his trademark north-east accent.

Northumberland-born and a Cambridge graduate, Waddell was a central part of Sky Sports' coverage of PDC darts events since 1994.

He 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."

After his death, past and present players said he was a legend of the game. Waddell also had 11 books published, ghosted 13-time PDC world champion Phil Taylor's autobiography The Power and wrote the sport-based BBC children's programmes Jossy's Giants and Sloggers, receiving a nomination for best scriptwriter from the Writers' Guild of Great Britain for the latter.

He was elected, along with fellow commentator Dave Lanning, to the Professional Darts Corporation's hall of fame in 2008 and, after his initial cancer treatment, rejoined the Sky commentary team for a Premier League event in Manchester this February.

Waddell began his media career at ITV before moving in 1972 to Yorkshire Television, where he produced Calendar and put darts on screen for the first time with the creation of The Indoor League.