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TV Sports legend Dickie Davies passes away

Dickie Davies, Simon Thomas/Twitter

Sports broadcasting legend Dickie Davies, the face of ITV sports coverage for more than two decades, has died aged 94.

The star presented the Saturday afternoon show World of Sport from the 1960s until it ended in 1985. The show, ich featured racing, football results and the incomparable World of Sport Wrestling, home to the likes of Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks, was a staple of Saturday afternoon viewing that became embedded in the national pysche.

Former ITV colleague Jim Rosenthal took to Twitter to announce the news:

Davies, who was born in Wallasey in Mersyside and attended the town’s Oldershaw Grammar School, began his TV career as an announcer on Southern Television in 1960, having previously worked as a purser for Cunard Line.

He joined a fledgling World of Sport, initially called Wide World of Sports, as Eamonn Andrews’ understudy before becoming the main host of the five-hour Saturday TV marathon in 1968. The role included leading ITV’s all-day build-up to the FA Cup final, which in the days before Sky was one of the few football matches broadcast live during the course of the season. He also worked on ITV’s coverage of three Olympic Games.

After World of Sport ended in 1985, Davies remaineded at ITV as a presenter for four years before moving to a new role as sports editor with Classic FM.

A stroke in 1995 badly affected his speech and forced him off air as he slowly recovered, although he still returned intermittently to the screen for a number of specials, including ITV’s 50-year World of Sport anniversary in 2005, as well as occasional appearances as a presenter for Sky Sports.

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