Laura Woods breaks down in tears over darts commentator Nigel Pearson’s death
18th April 2022

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An emotional tribute to the career of the late Nigel Pearson saw Laura Woods break down in tears during a talkSPORT segment on Monday.

It emerged late on Friday that darts and Speedway commentator Pearson had died at the age of 52 of a 'sudden illness'. A former BBC Radio Humberside reporter, Pearson was part of Sky Sports' darts coverage for 15 years after joining in 2006, as well as being one of talkSPORT's original broadcasters when it first aired in 1995.

"I knew Nigel from the age of, I think, 21 when I started at Sky," said Woods, choking back tears following a montage of tributes and condolences from those in Pearson's life. "And just exactly what his friends and colleagues were saying there, you really became a friend to Nigel. If Nigel was around you or one of your colleagues, he wasn't just a friend, he was such a source of support and a real source of joy.

"And I really just wanted to echo all of that because for me, personally in my career as well, he was a champion of mine. And it's like Adrian [Durham] was saying there, you really need good people in the world, and he was so that."

The broadcaster went on to describe her late friend as "so talented," adding her belief that he was "the first, I think, commentator and presenter that was just so accessible to everyone around him. Just a knowledgeable, wonderful, intelligent man."

Pearson's "gut-wrenching" death made headlines over the weekend, leading to an outpour of tributes from former employers, friends and colleagues. A statement from Steve Smith, Sky Sports' executive director of content, called the iconic Speedway figure "a consummate broadcaster with a distinctive voice."

In the darts world, Michael van Gerwen, Gerwyn Price and Phil Taylor each shared praise for Pearson via Twitter. 'The Power' described Pearson as "always polite and a good guy," while Van Gerwen said the avid West Brom fan "could always make me laugh in post match interviews."

The Baggies themselves lauded Pearson as "an inspirational broadcaster" and "true friend." British Speedway chairman, Rob Godfrey, accredited him for advancing the sport "from the tabloid age to the digital age."

Woods concluded by lauding the legacy and imprint Pearson will leave on those sports to which he dedicated so much of his later career: "He'll be so missed."

  • Darts
  • Motorsport

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