Nigel Pearson

Red Dragon Darts

Nigel Pearson passed away on April the 15th and the outpouring of, initially, shock, grief, and disbelief, followed by love, affection, and gratitude gives some indication of the esteem in which Nigel was held throughout both the sports and media world.

Although known to the widest audience through his SKY TV work, where he has been both commentator and presenter, Nigel has also combined with BT for football and other activities, was devoted to speedway, and helped TalkSport turn the, at first thought laughable, concept ‘darts on the radio’ into a huge success.

The outpouring of love and affection was summed up by watching Laura Woods struggle through the shock and pain to pay her tribute on TalkSport. Her moving words and distraught emotions spoke for all.

On a professional level, it says much that when Dave Clark stepped down in the midst of lockdown and the coronavirus pandemic, it was to Nigel SKY turned to lead the coverage of the World Matchplay in the legendary presenters’ absence.

During that same period, Nigel gave an exclusive and rare interview to Darts World where he discussed many of his sporting passions and how he believed darts, football and other sports would emerge from the dark times. His tireless optimism, down-to-earth personality and positive nature shine throughout the 17-minute conversation. 

The pressure of work meant that Nigel skipped an issue of his regular Darts World column in December 2021’s edition. By way of correction, he sent through easily enough for two columns in our New Year issue (DW578), the second of which included the following paragraph which says much about the man and what he gave to our sport:

I mentioned the bigger picture aspect earlier. Everyone needs to continue promoting the sport to a wider audience. I gave a talk to an assembly of 14-year-olds at my local school recently and when explaining my work I asked for a show of hands – how many out of the 120 pupils watch the darts on TV? Not one hand went up. We need to promote the sport to new people as much as possible and make it as simple as possible for the younger generation to understand.

Even at the top of his profession Nigel Pearson did not rest on his laurels or take things for granted. Instead, he encouraged and supported those around him, as the testimonies opposite show clearly, and thought about those to come afterward.

Our sport has lost a gentleman and a gem and our thoughts go out to Nigel’s family who have lost a great deal more. RIP 

“….That ability to make everybody feel welcome was Nigel’s greatest gift” .. Paul Nicholson

“ Nigel wasn’t just a friend, he was such a source of support and a real source of joy” …Laura Woods

“ A wonderful man, a wonderful broadcaster and a wonderful friend. He will be missed by so , so many…” WBA Radio

“The amount Nigel Pearson did for British Speedway most will never know, always trying to take things forward with amazing attention to detail. I’ll miss you pal and thanks for everything” Ian Brannan

“Devastated. Nige was one of the first members of the SKY Sports Darts family I met and he couldn’t have made me feel more welcome. Love you Nige…” Emma Paton


Image: PDC Graphic

An independent consultant, coach, author and analyst in the sports and business sectors. I am regularly retained to advise and coach professionals in a variety of fields.

Latest articles

Newsletter Signup

Previous article
Next article

Related articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here