THE funeral of popular sports commentator and former Cradley Heathens director Nigel Pearson will be held tomorrow (Thursday May 12).

The 52-year-old, known for his work to support Cradley Heathens speedway, as well as commentating on darts for Sky Sports, died in hospital on Friday April 15 after being taken ill suddenly.

Large numbers of people are expected to turn out to pay their respects to Nigel who was known as the 'voice of speedway' and widely admired for his friendly and enthusiastic nature.

The funeral procession will do a lap of Wombourne and the cricket pitch in the centre of the village starting at 12.15pm.

There will then be a service at 12.45pm at St Benedicts Church, Church Road, Wombourne.

At 2.10pm there will be a service for family and close friends only at Gornal Wood Crematorium, Chase Road, Gornal Wood - this will be live streamed at the cricket club.

The wake will be held at Wombourne Cricket Club in Church Road.

People are asked to wear bright colours as "Nige wouldn't want everyone to be dressed in black so if you feel able we would like to see lots of colour, just like a rainbow"

Donations can be made to the Speedway Riders Benevolent Fund.

The married father-of-three's first involvement in speedway was as programme editor and announcer at Cradley Heath in the early 1990s.

Sports stars paid tribute when Nigel's shock death was announced.

On Twitter, former darts world champion Phil Taylor said: "Sad, sad news about Nigel Pearson passing away. Always polite and a good guy."

Newcastle Speedway said: "Nigel's love of Speedway shone through in his commentaries, and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him and listened to him".

West Bromwich Albion, the club he supported, said: "An inspirational broadcaster. A huge Albion fan. A true friend."