Vic Wakeling, former Sky Sports MD, dies aged 73

17 May 2017

By: Sport Industry Group

Vic Wakeling, the former Sky Sports managing director, has died at the age of 73. 

Having previously worked in print journalism in the North and Midlands, Vic Wakeling moved to Fleet Street with The Observer, Daily Express, People and London Evening News.

He then joined Sky Sports at its launch, and was part of the team that established the new service and developed its coverage of the Premier League from August 1992. He was also key in ensuring the channel won the rights to the top flight.

He oversaw Sky Sports growth into a network of five dedicated sports channels - Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2, Sky Sports 3, Sky Sports Xtra and Sky Sports News - and three high definition channels, paving the way for the sport industry as we know it today.

Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports said: "Very few people have had a greater impact on sport in the UK and Ireland than Vic Wakeling.

"As head of Sky Sports for over 15 years, Vic's vision, belief and investment helped transform sport on pitch and off. At a time when sport was undervalued and underfunded, Vic helped create Sky Sports and with it a platform that sport deserved.

"We are truly saddened and sorry to lose a pioneer, a colleague and a friend and I know everyone at Sky will join me in wishing his family and closest friends our deepest sympathies."

In 2007, he won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BT Sport Industry Awards, and then in 2011 was awarded a CBE in the Queen's birthday honours in recognition for the role he played in revolutionising both British football and television coverage of the sport. 

He passed away on Monday and leaves his wife, Susan, and four children, Sally, Rob, Caroline and Kate.