Kevin Gearey: Former BBC sports reporter dies

Kevin Gearey
Kevin Gearey travelled across the world to cover sporting events for the BBC, including England's cricket tour to the West Indies in 1994

Tributes have been paid to former BBC sports correspondent Kevin Gearey, who has died aged 66 after a long illness.

Gearey worked at the BBC for 32 years before leaving the corporation in 2011.

He joined the BBC in March 1979 and appeared on BBC news bulletins across television and radio, covering a range of sporting events.

"For more than three decades, Kevin covered the sporting world for the BBC with great insight and panache," said BBC head of sports journalism Stephen Mawhinney.

"His creativity and unparalleled writing skills made him a unique talent who has never been replaced. We offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends at this time."

BBC director of news and current affairs Fran Unsworth said Gearey was "a superb sports writer and reporter, whose witticisms amused and engaged audiences on TV and radio throughout his career".

Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, described Gearey as "a true wordsmith with a wonderful turn of phrase that endeared him to audiences".

She added: "Kevin was an exceptionally talented reporter and journalist. He'll be sorely missed and our thoughts are with his family and friends."

He leaves wife Nicola, three children and three grandchildren.

His son Paddy, also a BBC Sport journalist, said: "Dad was always proud of working for the BBC and made a great many friends there. He was amazing and we will miss him terribly but we all have so many brilliant memories of him."