Sport

KEVIN CADLE: TV ANCHOR WHO TOOK UK VIEWERS TO THE BALLGAME

“HI, I’M Kevin Cadle – and you’re not,” opened an early Sky Sports programme, hosted by Kevin Cadle, the sports broadcaster who died this week, aged 62.


For more than 15 years, Cadle (left) was the face on television of the National Football League (NFL) in the UK – an era when the sport enjoyed unprecedented growth on these shores.

He was, for sleep-deprived UK sports junkies like me, the friendly American who provided company during late night coverage from Miami or Minneapolis – while more sensible people were tucked up in bed.

Presenting US sport on British television is difficult, yet Cadle made it look easy. Educating the viewer through the action, but never patronising them.
“The thing with Kev as the host was he always kept you on your toes,” recalls long-time colleague Mike Carlson, who worked alongside Cadle during his early days presenting NFL Europe games.

“One his favourite tricks was to tell you he’d be asking you about the Monarchs’ defence when we came out of the break; then he’d ask you about the Amsterdam offence, and chuckle off camera as you tried to adjust.
“I used to call it ‘getting Cadled’.”

A man with a big personality to match his six-foot five-inch frame, Cadle was never afraid to make himself the joke. His tradition of carving a Thanksgiving turkey live on air became almost as entertaining as the feast of football being served up on the field.

Whilst he will be best remembered for his NFL presenting career, it was in the sport of basketball, not gridiron, that he first made his name.
Born in Buffalo, New York on March 17, 1955, Cadle was a lifelong Buffalo Bills fan, growing up across the street from the team’s former War Memorial Stadium.

He played basketball in high school and earned a scholarship to the prestigious Penn State University.But after relocating to the UK, it was as a coach where he enjoyed success.

Cadle became the most decorated coach in UK basketball history, winning more than 300 games, 30 titles and eight Coach of the Year awards in a 13-year span from 1984 to 1997, starting with Falkirk and continuing with Glasgow, Kingston, Guildford and London Towers.

He also had stints as coach of Scotland’s and England’s national basketball teams as well as acting as head coach of the Great Britain side for the 1992 Olympics qualification tournament.

A move into motivational speaking followed, along with a TV career with Sky Sports – initially presenting National Basketball Association action before moving onto the NFL, presenting live games including the Super Bowl.Over recent years, Cadle played a reduced role in Sky’s coverage, but continued to be a prominent voice for the sport on social media.

“When I was handed the opportunity to present some NFL games from the sidelines at Wembley Stadium, with Kevin back in the London studio, he didn’t sulk or insist he be in the stadium,” says Sky’s current NFL host Neil Reynolds.

“He was the first to call and offer me his best wishes, telling me to “be great”. He was a coach and mentor to me until the very end of his life and I’m proud to have worked with him, laughed with him and watched countless hours of American football with him.”

A special tribute will be paid to Kevin Cadle at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday – where more than 80,000 British NFL fans will watch the Arizona Cardinals face the Los Angeles Rams.

For many of those in attendance, he shall be remembered as the man who introduced them to America’s game and made them feel it was theirs too.


“He was the first to call and offer me his best wishes, telling me to “be great”. He was a coach and mentor to me until the very end of his life and I’m proud to have worked with him, laughed with him and watched countless hours of American football with him.”

A special tribute will be paid to Kevin Cadle at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday – where more than 80,000 British NFL fans will watch the Arizona Cardinals face the Los Angeles Rams.

For many of those in attendance, he shall be remembered as the man who introduced them to America’s game and made them feel it was theirs too.

Kevin Cadle, born March 17, 1955, Buffalo, New York, US, died October 16, 2017, aged 62.

By Paul Garbett

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *