Former Sky Sports host Dave Clark branded 'inspiration' as he gives brave live TV interview about Parkinson's battle | The Sun

FORMER Sky Sports presenter Dave Clark has opened up about his Parkinson's battle.

The popular host, 56, covered darts and boxing for over 20 years on Sky.

In 2011 everything changed, however, when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's.

Appearing on GMB he opened on how he discovered his illness, explaining: "My right hand was quite slow. I walked past a shop window and my arm wasn't swinging. I thought 'what's going on here?'

"I felt a bit flat, I thought I had a shoulder problem. I went to see a physio and he said 'it's not physiological it's neurological'.

"So a bit of a shock to the system. I went to a neuro specialist, they asked me how old my kids were.



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"I said 'seven and four' at the time. He asked me if I had a big mortgage, I did. And he said 'you've got Parkinson's'.

"I said 'how long am I going to be able to work for?' He said 'three or four years'."

Clark defied the odds, however, continuing to be a fans' favourite on Sky for another decade.

"I did ten years of presenting live sport," he continued.

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"World heavyweight title fights, everything. So I'm really proud of that."

Asked about how his dad's experience with Parkinson's helped him tackle his own diagnosis, Clark opened up about his father's difficulties.

Clark continued: "He got really depressed, he had to give up work.

"He was a sales rep in Bradford and people were accusing him of turning up drunk to meetings, so a really sad time.

'I was worried I was going to lose my job'

"Because of his symptoms he got depressed and ended up taking his own life when I was a teenager, so it wasn't the best start for me, with my diagnosis.

"I had memories… I saw Parkinson's, the worst of Parkinson's, take away the best of my dad and it was a really sad time.

"When I was diagnosed, I used my dad as a blueprint. I'd do everything the opposite to what he did. He locked himself away, I went public.

"But I kept it secret for two-and-a-half years because I thought people were going to think of me disabled and I was worried I was going to lose my job.

"I had to work because I needed to pay that big mortgage. So I carried on for ten years and I'm really proud of that."

During his brave interview, host Susanna Reid labelled Clark an "inspiration" and a "real hero".

And viewers agreed, with one writing on social media: "Dave Clark is a genuine inspiration. If the world was full of people like him, it would be a far better place."

A second called him an "amazing man".

While a third added: "An inspiration to all. A fantastic human being. Really put things into perspective. Love to you and your family Dave."

Clark has to take medication every three hours for his condition, and hopes that one day a cure will be found.

He told the PA News earlier this year: "Hopefully we will find a cure. But it robs your ability to talk, walk and smile and you become incontinent.

"It’s pretty serious, you end up not in a good state. That’s the bottom line.

"They always say five years’ time, but it has been five years for the last 30. They will find a cure eventually but it might be too late for me."

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Meanwhile, Clark reflects on his TV career with huge fondness, adding: "I miss the people, but nothing lasts forever. I had 22 great years in television, that is a massive amount of time.

"Longevity is a sign of success. You are very disposable as a TV presenter. I had a great time, just amazing. I have massive pride."

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