The broadcaster became something of a cult figure after fronting the ITV show for 20 years
Dickie Davies, formerly a familiar face on television as the presenter of World of Sport on ITV, has died aged 94.
His former colleague Jim Rosenthal broke the news on Sunday night, writing on social media: “With huge sadness, we announce Dickie Davies passed away this morning.
“So proud of his 20 years of World of Sport, 3 Olympic Games and a brilliant career on the telly. He is survived by a loving wife, two adoring sons, four grandkids and two beloved dogs.”
Following Rosenthal’s tweet, sports fans paid tribute. The BBC rugby commentator Andrew Sheridan wrote: “A legend of sports broadcasting and an integral part of my Saturdays in my youth.”
Presenter Simon Thomas tweeted: “Rest in peace, Dickie Davies. Absolute giant of sports broadcasting.”
Richard John Davies was born in Wallasey, Cheshire, and attended grammar school after passing his 11-plus. His broadcasting career came after national service in the Royal Air Force and stints working as a purser on ocean liners.
Davies’s first job in broadcasting was as an announcer for Southern Television. In those early days, he was known as Richard Davies; he changed it to Dickie Davies at the recommendation of fellow broadcaster Jimmy Hill.
The World of Sport programme, initially called World Wide Sports, began in 1965. Davies anchored the show from 1968 to 1985, when it was cancelled.
Davies remained with ITV, presenting snooker, boxing and darts as well as playing a prominent role in the channel’s 1988 Seoul Olympics coverage.
He would go on to work for Eurosport, fronting its snooker coverage, and also provided sports bulletins for Classic FM in its early days.
After having a stroke in 1995, he quit the role. It took more than a year for him to fully regain his speech, but he eventually made a comeback with his own feature series on famous sportsmen and women, Dickie Davies’ Sporting Heroes.
Such was Davies’s popularity, he was immortalised in the song Dickie Davies Eyes by the English band Half Man Half Biscuit.