Shaun Gayle reacts to sad passing of Kevin Cadle, his friend and former Sky Sports colleague
'Kevin was a larger-than-life character, a kind and giving individual, always with a positive spin on things'
Last Updated: 17/10/17 6:06am
Shaun Gayle talks about the "devastating" loss of Kevin Cadle, his friend and former Sky Sports colleague...
Knowing Kevin was special. That word exemplifies the man and his personality.
I got the news of my dear friend, and former colleague, Kevin Cadle's passing during the show on Sunday night. It was such a surreal situation, and is still so unbelievable.
Losing someone so close is devastating and my heart goes out to his family. He meant so much to so many people, as anyone who was fortunate enough to meet him would testify to, he'd only ever bring out an immediate and positive reaction.
Kevin was a larger-than-life character, as well as such a kind and giving individual, always with a positive spin on things. For me, and countless others that he came across, we're so very fortunate to be able to call him a friend.
I first met Kevin when I started working for Sky in 2005. I didn't know anyone here, but he immediately put me at ease, on and off camera.
One example I'll always remember was during one of my first shows back in those days. We used to read out emails that were sent in by viewers. As the show was going on, we'd get these stacks of paper brought out to us to look through for questions from the fans, but we'd also get to see what some of the trolls had to say.
I recall reading one; Kevin was sitting there, writing down some notes, noticed me out of the corner of his eye, chuckled a bit and knew right away I'd read something I hadn't particularly cared to read. He looked at me, smiled and said "don't worry, it happens to us all".
Coming from a guy so big in stature, he had such a relaxed approach, it really made you put your guard down. Kevin made it clear: the audience want to see who we are as people. They just want to enjoy themselves when watching.
But, even when the show was over, the season was done, he'd be there to show me around, show me the ropes to public transport in London, the tubes.
My 12 years here covering the NFL since had a lot to do with initially just wanting to spend more time with Kevin. He made the job into such an enjoyable experience and we became close friends immediately.
To the point where I stayed at his home quite often, and he'd visit me and stay at mine in Chicago. Our families started to vacation together - spent so much time together - and he embraced me along with his other close friends. To be included in that circle was very special.
But Kevin was not just responsible for my continued involvement with the NFL in the UK, he is also an extremely important part of how the game as a whole has grown in this country over the years.
His presentation style really invited in the fans who wanted to learn about the sport and about professional athletics, but there was also a way that he could speak about it that didn't put anyone off. He never made it seem like it was too complicated.
I'd have to attribute that to Kevin himself being a collegiate athlete, and coaching in the professional ranks of basketball. There aren't a lot of presenters who actually have that kind of background, and so he understood that difference between the viewer, and what they wanted to understand.
On his coaching, I've also been fortunate enough to meet some of the players who Kevin coached, who are still very much part of his family - guys that think the world of him.
He was so great to work with, to know, and to call a friend. He will be so sorely missed.