Legendary Broadcaster Dave Lanning Passes Away
LEGENDARY darts commentator and PDC Hall of Fame member Dave Lanning has passed away aged 78.
The long-time voice of darts and speedway passed away peacefully in Lower Parkstone, Poole, with his family at his side on Saturday afternoon. Dave enjoyed a media career spanning six decades, starting when he left Poole Grammar School and became a newspaper reporter for the Bournemouth Echo.
He went on to work for Daily Mail, TV Times, The Sun and Mirror Group and joined ITV Sport in 1965, which led to him covering Yorkshire TV’s famous “Indoor League” programme – produced by Sid Waddell. He later commentated on John Lowe’s first televised nine-dart finish at the 1984 World Matchplay event in Slough, and later joined Sky Sports alongside Waddell and John Gwynne.
He was also in the commentary box alongside Waddell when Phil Taylor achieved history with two nine-dart finishes in one match during the 2010 Premier League final against James Wade. The pair were also inducted into the PDC Hall of Fame in 2008, and after retiring from commentary he continued to follow both darts and his first love, speedway, with a passion.
“Dave was one of the pioneers of televised darts and his dulcet tones entertained us for over 30 years,” said PDC Chairman Barry Hearn. “He gave us so many great memories with eloquence and style behind the microphone. “He is now reunited with his old sparring partner Sid Waddell, and they can share a drink together again tonight.”
Always by side was Leona, his wife of 57 years. The legacy of a career was three children Alyson, Russell and Philip who followed his footsteps into journalism, media, speedway and darts. His most enjoyable times during the sunset of his life was with the grandchildren Alex, Philippa, Nicole, Elizabeth, Taylor, Melody and Bailey at home and at Sandbanks Beach.
There will be a private ceremony for the Lanning family to pay their respects – this will be followed at a later date by a celebration of his life for guests from the world of darts, speedway and television.
But, typically, in his final hours Dave supplied his own final pay-off line.
He said: “I’m off to find Sid.”
The thoughts and sympathies of all at the Professional Darts Corporation are with Dave’s family and friends at this sad time.