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Sky's Darts Anchor Opens Up On His Brave Battle With Parkinson's Disease

Sky's Darts Anchor Opens Up On His Brave Battle With Parkinson's Disease
By Gavin Cooney Updated

Following an astonishingly high-quality World Darts Championship, Sky's Darts presenter Dave Clark joined Joe Molloy on this evening's Off The Ball. Along with the revelation that punters bought half a million pints at the Alexandra Palace (that's eight pints per person, apparently), Clark delved into his brave battle with Parkinson's Disease.

Clark was diagnosed with Parkinson's in January 2011, yet has not allowed it impinge upon his daily life, continuing to work for Sky, and last year set off on a 200-mile walk across England to raise funds for Parkinson's UK.

Clark's father suffered from the same illness, eventually taking his own life, but he told Molloy that he decided to do everything his father had not done. Therefore, he made the decision to seize each day he is given, and plans to be on television for at least another couple of years, perhaps longer.

Initially, he kept his diagnosis secret, and did not tell his employers for two-and-a-half-years:

I kept it a secret for two and half years. I was doing a World Championship Boxing fight in Glasgow, and I was hiding in a cupboard trying to put my cuff links on, and the countdown was going before I had to be on air. I was struggling with the buttons, the cuff links, the tie, and I thought this is ridiculous. I hadn't told any of my colleagues, and I decided that this was totally mad. So I decided to go public.

Clark spoke plainly of the reality that he will end up in a wheelchair, and end up losing his voice, with his only hope of a cure being found before that happens.

His daily resilience is quite something:


On a bad day, I can't button up my shirt, and I can't write my name. So I taught myself to write left-handed. So throughout the World Championships, I wrote out my notes left-handed because I couldn't write right-handed.

What a brave man. We recommend you listen back to the interview on the Newstalk website. 

See Also: What's Next? - Chronicling The Evolution Of How We Consume Sport

See Also: The Unforgettable Richie Burnett Story Which Showcases The Trials Of The Struggling Darts Player

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