Dave Clark steps down as darts presenter amid Parkinson’s battle

Sky Sports darts presenter Dave Clark has announced he is stepping away from the broadcaster's live coverage after 22 years.

After battling Parkinson's for around a decade, Clark has decided it is time to take a step back, revealing his decision on social media.

"It’s been an AMAZING journey, but now it’s time to bow out of @SkySportsDarts ", he wrote on social media.

"22 years on Sky, nearly 10 years with #Parkinsons Brilliant memories, brilliant people. Just stopping doing the live darts .. NOT giving up on life. 100% my decision x"

Opening up further about his decision, Clark told Sky Sports : "It's been an amazing journey, 22 years performing on Sky Sports, nearly 10 years with a chronic degenerative neurological condition. Quite an innings, doing the best job in the world.

"When I was diagnosed with Parkinson's a 'specialist' said I'd only be able to present live sport for two or three more years. Nearly a decade after that diagnosis, I can still present live television, on stage, in front of 10,000 people.

"I've decided I want to stop now, still in control, still able to do the job, still able to enjoy it."

He continued: "The last thing I want is for … darts fans to feel uncomfortable or sorry for me as my Parkinson's progresses.

"There have been a few occasions when the on-air clock has been counting down and my medication hasn't kicked in.

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"My body rigid and shaky, my joints painful and hands so stiff I couldn't hold a microphone, write my name or do the buttons up on my shirt.

"I'd be praying my pills would start working. The combination of adrenaline, enthusiastic energy, medication and determination always got me through, but that won't always be the case.

"I'm NOT giving up on life, just stopping doing the darts. I intend to keep busy, writing a book "Stand Up If You Love The Darts" about my time presenting during some of the sport's greatest years."

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Tributes quickly poured in for the popular presenter, with former footballer and Soccer Saturday star Chris Kamara writing: "Clarky you are amazing good luck with whatever you do next & let’s catch up soon".

"Darts won’t be the same without you!" added Leeds United. "From everyone at #LUFC we wish you all the best for the future and hopefully see you at Elland Road again very soon! #ALAW#MOT "

"Brilliant broadcaster and friend – and an inspiration to so many," wrote Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna Reid.. The next chapter begins. Good luck @DaveClarkTV "

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  • Rugby League side Leeds Rhinos also paid tribute, adding: "All the best @DaveClarkTV from everyone at Leeds Rhinos we would like to say what an incredible inspiration you have been and continue to be, keep fighting"

    "What an amazing career you’ve had Dave, loved working with you on the boxing, such a great presenter, we always had a good laugh, also loved you on the darts, gooox luck with everything Dave, your a top fella x" wrote former boxer Spencer Oliver.

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