Dave Clark has announced he is stepping down from his role as Sky Sports Darts presenter after almost 20 years in the role.
For the last ten years, Dave has suffered from Parkinson's Disease, which is a progressive neurological condition. Dave said 'the disease robs people of the ability to walk, talk and smile'. However, Dave has defied the doctors, and continued is he role as a Sky Sports commentator inspiring many others that have the disease to flight it and not give up.
Dave made a public announcement about his condition after presenting a Ricky Burns world title fight in 2013. More than two years earlier, Dave had been diagnosed with the disease at the same age as his father, forty-four.
When Dave was first diagnosed with Parkinson's, he said he took it badly, because his dad suffering from the same disease took his own life. Dave also thought people might see him as disabled and thought that he might lose his job.
The number of people diagnosed with Parkinson's in the UK is about 145,000. But the Parkinson's website claims that more than 1 million people in the UK are affected with the disease, either by living with Parkinson's, or by knowing someone suffering with it, as a friend, colleague, or family member.
Millions of Darts Fans have watched Dave's battle and in true darts fashion, never give up, Dave has fought the progress of the disease admirably. Speaking out about his condition has helped those who are suffering from the disease and give thousands more a better understanding of this cruel condition. Although one inappropriate tweet from #Ladbrokes, since deleted, caused an uproar of social media. #Ladbrokes made an apology and sent an undisclosed donation to Dave Clark's cause.
Dave has covered and presented lots of sports on TV and radio, including, Football, Boxing, Snooker, Pool and of course PDC Darts on Sky Sports TV.
Like many of the regular commentators, Dave has become a fixture of the darts, and you can see he is a real fan of the sport. The drama the sport brings means there is always something to talk about, especially when history is being made, with Taylor's sixteenth World title, nine-dart finishes and dart averages going through the roof. Dave has been there when Fallon Sherrock made darts history as the first female player to win on the PDC World Stage, and as a fan, he has made the sport special.
Since Dave's was diagnosed, he has also supported research into Parkinson's disease (Parkinson's UK) and has fundraised over £500,000. In one feat 'Dave Clark's Walk for a Cure', Dave walked from his home town of Ilkley along the Dalesway covering 85 miles in six days.
Dave said he would leave his brain to medical science to aid Parkinson's research.
Dave deserves a place in dart history along with other commentators of the sport. He has been part of darts for over twenty years and has researched the sport to give good coverage and interviewed some of the greatest dart players to date over this long period. A true professional and will be missed by many.
Keep up the fight, Dave, the dart community is fully behind you.
Dave Clark is to walk the length of Hadrian's Wall in September to raise funds for Parkinson's UK.
Dave has previously walked the St Bee's to Robin Hood's Bay Coast to Coast and the Dales Way walk as part of his #MarchForACure fundraising for Parkinson's UK.
Dave will now challenge himself to walk the 90-mile length of Hadrian's Wall from September 3-8.
If you wish to support Dave you can donate to Dave Clark's "Clarky Walks The Wall" fundraising page at this link.