Dave Clark defied odds to present darts for 10 years after Parkinsons diagnosis

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    Being diagnosed with Parkinson's didn't prevent Dave Clark from achieving his career goals.

    The former Sky Sports News host was told he'd be able to keep working for just "three of four years" because of his condition. But he ended up hosting some of the biggest occasions in sport for more than double that length of time to prove doctors wrong, fronting coverage for major darts and boxing events way beyond that deadline.

    Clark would have likely led Sky Sports' coverage of the 2024 Paddy Power World Darts Championship were it not for his diagnosis. And the broadcasting veteran, who retired in July 2020, gave a heartfelt account of his early experience with the neurodegenerative disease during a recent appearance on Good Morning Britain.

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    "I went past a shop window and I thought I had a shoulder problem because my arm wasn't swinging," said Clark. "I went to the doctors and he said it's not physical – it's neurological.

    "I then went to see another doctor and he asked how old my kids were, I said seven and four at the time. He asked me if I had a big mortgage. I did. He said, 'You've got Parkinson's.' I asked how long am I going to be able to work for, [and] he said three or four years. I did 10 years presenting live sport, world heavyweight title fights, everything. I am really proud of that."

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    Clark also addressed the impact his father's own Parkinson's diagnosis helped influence his approach to the condition. The former Sky favourite confessed his dad committed suicide having grown depressed after keeping his diagnosis private, and colleagues wondered whether he was drunk at work due to his speech degradation.

    Eager to avoid that kind of confusion, Clark pledged to be candid about his own diagnosis, albeit after hiding it for the first two-and-a-half years. Worried at the time he'd lose his job, the TV veteran joked he did so he had the means "to pay off that big mortgage."

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    Rightly proud of the manner in which he surpassed expectations, Clark received a wave of praise from the public for his bravery. Retired darts star Kevin Painter wrote: "What a man. You will not meet a nicer fella."

    "A wonderful inspiring man," posted another viewer. "The world would be a better place with more people like Dave Clark."

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