John Gwynne, a former Sky Sports darts pundit and presenter, died at the age of 77 after a battle with illness.

Gwynne was a member of the Sky Sports darts commentary crew for two decades, beginning with the World Darts Championship in 1994 and ending in 2013 after covering 20 World Championships and 20 World Matchplays.

During his career, he was also a regular match reporter for Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday and covered cricket, rugby league, and speedway.

Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling said: “John was blessed with one of the greatest voices of them all, and he put it to good use on Soccer Saturday, whether he was at his beloved Manchester City or Rochdale, describing the action with the same wonderful blend of gravitas, humour and, always, passion.

“I first met John when he was part of the greatest darts commentary team of all time alongside Sid Waddell and Dave Lanning. All three have now sadly passed.

“I was lucky enough to work with John, laugh with him, sing with him but most of all listen to him. Broadcasting has lost a special voice and a special man.”

Sky Sports executive director of content Steve Smith said: “We are truly saddened to hear of John’s passing.

“He was a hugely respected broadcaster, bringing great humour and energy to our screens with one of the legendary voices in the industry.

“A consummate professional, John was a highly-valued member of the Sky Sports family and he will be sorely missed by all.”

Gwynne, who worked as a schoolteacher before joining Sky Sports and reporting on darts for radio and the ‘Darts Phone Line Commentary,’ was inducted into the Professional Darts Corporation’s Hall of Fame in 2014.

“John was a respected and popular figure in darts and across sports media and this is a sad time for all who knew him,” said PDC chief executive Matt Porter.

“As part of the original Sky Sports commentary team alongside Sid Waddell and Dave Lanning, John’s distinctive voice was part of the soundtrack to the PDC’s formative years and they formed an iconic trio.

“John was hugely passionate about the sport of darts and made a great contribution at all levels during his career.

“We send our condolences and sympathies to John’s family and friends.”