Laura Woods left in tears as she pays emotional tribute to commentator Nigel Pearson

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Sky Sports and talkSPORT presenter Laura Woods was left in tears as she paid an emotional tribute to legendary commentator Nigel Pearson on Monday morning. Pearson, who commentated on darts as well as speedway, died last week at the age of 52.

“We obviously heard about this at the weekend,” Woods told talkSPORT as she choked back the tears. “And I think it shocked everyone at talkSPORT. Like you heard there, the tributes that were being paid. I knew Nigel from, I think, the age of 21 when I started at Sky.

“Just exactly what his colleagues and his friends were saying there, you really became a friend to Nigel. If Nigel was around you or one of your colleagues, he wasn’t just a friend – he was such a source of support and a real source of joy.

“And I really just wanted to echo all of that really. For me personally in my career as well, he was a champion of mine. You need good people in the world like Nigel and he was so that. He was so talented as well. One of those lines that I will always remember, no mistake at all. You can pick out all of these incredible lines and you know his iconic commentary – just iconic – and a man that you just love to be in his company.

“We got to travel around Europe a lot with speedway and around Britain as well with darts. He was probably the first commentator and presenter that was just so accessible to everybody around him. Just a knowledgeable, wonderful, intelligent man. And I think that’s the first time it’s properly hit me – just to hear everything that he’s achieved in his life and the effect he had on so many different people.

“It’s tragic, it’s just gut-wrenching. I’m so sorry for his family and I’m so sorry for his kids as well. I know that he meant the world to everyone here at talkSPORT, at Sky, at BT. All the companies he worked for. This is tragic, this is awful. What a legacy he leaves behind really so I’m really glad that I get to pay my respects to him this morning.”

Pearson, who was an avid West Brom fan, joined Sky Sports in 2006 and commentated as part of the channel’s darts coverage for more than 15 years. And he was one of the founding broadcasters on talkSPORT after it launched in 1995.

His death was announced in a statement from Official British Speedway last week: “It is with the deepest sadness and regret that we announce the passing of much loved sport commentator, presenter and journalist, Nigel Pearson, aged 52, earlier today,” read the statement. “We ask everyone to fully respect Nigel’s family’s privacy at this time.

“All of our thoughts and love go to his wife Kerrie, daughter Sarah and sons Liam and Jake. A full tribute to Nigel will follow.”

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