England

Darts commentator Sid Waddell's funeral held in Leeds

  • 22 August 2012
  • From the section England
Funeral attendees
Sid Waddell's funeral, attended by family and big names of the sporting world, took place in Pudsey

The funeral service for darts commentator Sid Waddell has taken place in West Yorkshire.

Known as the "voice of darts", Mr Waddell, 72, had been battling bowel cancer for nearly a year when he died on 11 August.

His funeral, at Pudsey Parish Church in Leeds, was attended by big sporting names including cricketer Andrew Flintoff and darts star Eric Bristow.

The commentator would be "sadly missed", said Mr Flintoff.

The son of a Northumberland miner, Mr Waddell was known for his colourful and excitable commentary style, over many years on the BBC and Sky.

Mr Waddell, a Cambridge graduate, was one of the most recognisable figures in the sport, famed for his one-liners delivered in his trademark north east accent.

'Colossus of trade'

Arriving for the funeral service, football commentator John Helm said: "If we'd had an Olympic games for commentators he would have won the gold medal so many times.

"He was top of the tree. We are here to pay tribute to a colossus of his trade."

Sid Waddell was known for his colourful commentary style

The church was packed for the hour-long service which featured tributes from Barry Hearn of the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and Mr Waddell's son Dan.

No coffin was brought in as Mr Waddell was earlier cremated at a private service.

In his eulogy, Mr Hearn talked about the commentator's "frenetic, Geordie frenzy" style.

"We wouldn't be where we are today without his service to the sport," said Mr Hearn.

"Painting those pictures, those Picassos, Sid took a pub game and made it a global phenomenon."

'Sadly missed'

In his tribute, Dan Waddell said his father was "more like a mate".

"We could speak about sport. We could speak about books. We could speak about anything.

"I'll miss those chats. I'll miss my mate."

Outside the church, former England cricketer Flintoff described the fun he had joining his friend in the TV commentary box.

"At home we'd spend hours watching him entertaining us on TV as well. He was a great man. He was just great to be around," said Mr Flintoff.

"There's not too many people who can make people smile instantly and spread happiness. He'll be sadly missed."

A new trophy named in honour of Mr Waddell would be presented at the PDC World Championships, the organisation confirmed.

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