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Last person to commentate with Nigel Pearson pays poignant tribute

Paul Nicholson admitted he was struggling to come to the terms with the fact he was the last person to commentate with the late Nigel Pearson as he paid a poignant tribute to the broadcaster.

The legendary darts commentator passed away last week at the age of 52, triggering a wave of tributes. Pearson was a popular figure across several sports as he also covered football and speedway for talkSPORT and Sky Sports. Nicholson, the 2010 winner of the Players’ Championship, shared what sadly proved to be Pearson’s final broadcast, and the pair were in touch again prior to his passing on Good Friday.

“I was the last person to commentate with him, which is something I’m going to have to come to terms with,” Nicholson told Sporting Life. “We were talking in Barnsley after we finished that Nathan Aspinall-Matt Campbell final. He said to me, ‘when am I going to see you next?’. I said, ‘you’re doing Munich next week [for the German Grand Prix], I’m not there’. All of the things we were doing, he was somewhere else while I was doing darts, because the speedway season was about to start, and that’s where he was going to spend most of the summer.

“I said, ‘I’ll see you at Blackpool [for the World Matchplay] and if something comes up I’ll let you know. Obviously that was the last time I saw him. The last time I spoke to him was on the Tuesday before he died because we were talking about trainers for his son. I walked into Barnsley a few weeks ago with a pair of Air Jordans on and he said ‘they’re the kind I need for my boy’.

“So I was helping him find the right ones for his lad and we chatted about trainers for the next few weeks, and that was the last thing we talked about, about him walking through a sports shop and seeing some more of them. That’s just the way he was, if he saw something that reminded him of you, he’d let you know. It’s unbelievable that he could pass so quickly.”

Nicholson recalled commentating with Pearson on the radio for talkSPORT and spoke of his pal’s friendly nature.

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“He was involved in our sport for an incredibly long time. He was incredibly friendly,” he added. “The one lasting memory I’m going to have of Nigel was when we did the first darts on the radio. That was at the World Championships when Rob Cross won. Nigel got the final words in calling Rob Cross’s win.

“The camaraderie between Nigel, who I’d already known, and the talkSPORT crew… he was the bridge, he was the one who introduced me and Chris Mason into the talkSPORT world.

“That ability to make everyone feel welcome was Nigel’s greatest gift. I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like working for the radio now and him not walking by because he always made time to say hello even if he was working with Sky and not working with us. He would always keep that relationship. He was incredible at that.”

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