Former Bournemouth Echo reporter and legendary Darts broadcaster dies aged 78

Revered commentator Dave Lanning passed away over the weekend after a short battle with illness.

Dave Lanning was widely admired by all

Dave Lanning was widely admired by all.

Lanning, 78, was a prominent figure for Sky Sports’ coverage of both darts and speedway up until his retirement from commentary duties in 2011.

He spent his early years in Poole and attended Poole Grammar School.

After leaving school he joined the Bournemouth Echo as a reporter before receiving his big break to work for ITV Sport in 1965.

He will be remembered most for being part of Darts history in 1984 when he oversaw the first ever 9-dart finish produced by John Lowe.

Moreover, he formed a formidable broadcasting partnership with the late great Sid Waddell, who was known as the ‘voice of darts’ and it has been reported that Lanning remarked ‘I am off to find Sid’, just hours before he passed away on Saturday.

Tributes have been pouring in notably from Speedway club Poole Pirates who hold Lanning in high regard having commentated on 50 speedway finals during his time at ITV as well due to his continued support to the club.

Poole Pirates promote Matt Ford said: “He has always been extremely supportive of Poole in particular and the sport as a whole.

16-time darts world champion, Phil ‘the power’ Taylor also expressed admiration for Lanning, explaining “He was part of my generation. He had a wonderful relationship with Sid and he was just a lovely, lovely gentleman.”Michael van Gerwan will play in Bournemouth in December

It is almost fitting to end this piece by announcing that Darts will be coming to Bournemouth in December, as the likes of world number one Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright and Simon Whitlock will all compete in the DJ Shop Battle at the o2 academy on December 11.

On his excitement to play in Bournemouth, Van Gerwen stated: “The fans in Bournemouth are always fantastic so I can’t wait to see the party atmosphere they are going to create so close to Christmas.”

There will almost inevitably be a tribute to Dave Lanning at the event, who leaves behind an unrivalled legacy after a magnificent and inspiring broadcasting career.