Nigel Pearson: Sport is nothing without fans

By Nigel Pearson 16/09/2020

Let’s face it, sport is NOTHING without fans. Personally speaking, I’m desperate to see crowds back at sporting events. I’m attending an awful lot of football in my commentating role with TalkSport, but it’s just not the same. It was also a terrific effort to get fans back into the World Series in Austria. But sport without the atmosphere generated by packed in supporters just doesn’t fire the heart and soul like we are so used to.

How can pubs open but we can’t have Darts tournaments or football, speedway or rugby league without crowds? Nonsense! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not underestimating how serious the virus is but it’s going nowhere and we have to learn to live with it. It was so good to see fans in Salzburg at the weekend. That gave me a huge lift before just 48 hours later Vallance, Whitty and Boris kicked us sports fans in the bullseyes yet again.

We take time out from our daily working lives to enjoy the passion and intensity of our sporting loves. It is a ecting so many people, their mental state and livelihoods. I truly fear for the future of so many smaller clubs in football, rugby, cricket and speedway. However, we are powerless in this situation. We have to accept politicians and scientists calling the shots.

Back on the oche, it was a pretty sensational performance from Gerwyn Price to pick up another big win in Austria. He really is box office, as is being touted on social media. Gezzy is great for the game and a World Champion in the making. There are so many big stories emerging. Michael van Gerwen’s woes, the re-emergence of Rob Cross, and Peter Wright’s continuing success story. It tees it all up quite nicely for the World Grand Prix in Coventry in early October. I’m looking forward to a short journey to the Ricoh Arena but to be honest, the Guinness isn’t as good there as Dublin! Fair play once again to the PDC for keeping the sport on the go and relocating to Coventry though, their efforts certainly are not to be underestimated. But hopefully, we can return to the Citywest in Dublin in 2021. I’ll never forget Brendan Dolan’s nine-darter in 2011, truly making history.

Obviously, Price will start as a favourite on his current form. But the Grand Prix naturally throws up a few shocks because of the double-start formula. Can’t wait to get back to the darts and I’ll see you from October 6. I just wish you - the fans - were joining us at the venue.

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Nigel Pearson is a Sky Sports presenter and TalkSport and BT Sport commentator. His column can be seen first in each issue of Darts World Magazine.

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