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Old 16.10.2017, 12:52 PM
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Default Neil Reynolds tribute to Kevin Cadle

Kevin Cadle is gone. And gone too soon!

I can hardly believe I am writing those words about a man who has not only been a colleague and mentor to me over the past decade and more… he has been a close friend and a giant of a man who I have shared a great many laughs with when we probably should have been concentrating on our work.

You only need to dip your toe into Twitter to realise just how much of an impact Big Kev had on the ever-growing fan base in the UK. When 70,000-plus fans pack into Twickenham Stadium this weekend for the Los Angeles Rams-Arizona Cardinals clash, my friend will have played a big role in putting those bottoms on seats.

As the face of the sport in this country for so many years, Kevin Cadle brought warmth and fun to his role as the anchor of Sky Sports’ NFL coverage. We all have our favourite Big Kev stories to tell and I bet every single one of them relates to how he made us laugh, not how he broke down a game in detailed fashion.

Life was too short for all that seriousness.

The British public welcomed Kev into their living rooms every Sunday night as if he were a member of the family and I’m proud that he brought me along as his guest.

I had worked with Kevin during our days together in NFL Europe but we didn’t sit in the same television studio until a middle-of-the-night show in December, 2006. He welcomed me in – a green rookie with no idea how to work in television – like I was a member of his family.

And that’s how it stayed until the very night he was taken from us too soon. I felt like he looked out for me, no matter what the circumstances in and out of the television studio.

When I was handed the opportunity to present some NFL games from the sidelines at Wembley Stadium, leaving Kevin in the London studio, he didn’t sulk or insist he be in the stadium. He was the first to call and offer me his best wishes, telling me to “be great.” When my mum died, the first call I received was from Kev, reminding me he would be there whenever I needed him. And when I moved into the full-time presenting role this season, one of the first calls I received the morning after that first show was from Kev, telling me to “keep doing my thing.”

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.

Big Kev was a giant of the sport in this country and I’m not alone in saying I’m going to miss him dearly. I’ll miss the laughs, his references to “the ball game” and his constant reminders to me to enjoy the ride and not take things too seriously.

I’ll also miss the laughter-filled lunches (he was an all-time great story-teller) and I might even miss the constant ribbing he used to give me when his Buffalo Bills “owned” my Miami Dolphins.

Most of all, I’m going to miss a friend who was always there for me.

Ma man!
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Old 16.10.2017, 01:23 PM
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Roberto71 Roberto71 is offline
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*sniff. That's a lovely tribute from Neil. He must be hurting. But the nice thing about people like Kev, is even in situations like this, he'll still make many laugh as they recall their own Kevin Cadle stories. He'd no doubt want to be remembered with a laugh and a smile.
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Old 16.10.2017, 01:35 PM
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KeithyT KeithyT is offline
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Thank you Neil. We can only imagine how it must feel for those who worked closest with him but the warmth, humour and heart definitely always shone through to us viewers...
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Old 16.10.2017, 02:51 PM
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Wonderful words
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Old 16.10.2017, 04:54 PM
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alwaysabear alwaysabear is offline
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Brilliant tribute to the big man. Kev was the face of the NFL for so long and helped so much in its development in this Country.
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Old 16.10.2017, 04:55 PM
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wayne ellis wayne ellis is offline
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Wow, just seen the news...

R.I.P Kev, gone way too soon.
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Old 16.10.2017, 06:41 PM
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Pete Parker Pete Parker is offline
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That must of been hard to write, but such lovely warm tribute.

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Old 16.10.2017, 06:51 PM
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Crash11 Crash11 is offline
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Very warm tribute from Neil telling us all what he exuded on screen. Not an X's and O's guy but warm, fun & supportive fella.
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