Influential soccer podcaster Daryl Grove passes away after cancer battle

The US soccer community lost one of its most beloved voices on Thursday night, as the Total Soccer Show podcast’s Taylor Rockwell announced the following morning that his longtime co-host and business partner Daryl Grove lost his battle with colon and liver cancer.

Grove, 40, was unexpectedly diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer when he experienced stomach pains during a trip to Florida with his wife, Shannon O’Neill, in January 2019. He continued to record and write in the face of the grave prognosis and his family were lifted by an outpouring of both emotional and financial support from listeners and fans, who have contributed over $150,000 and counting via a GoFundMe campaign to assist with the family’s medical bills and expenses.

Grove’s aggressive tumors were held at bay by a range of immunotherapy, chemotherapy, surgeries and other treatments at VCU Massey Cancer Center in Richmond, as well as a clinical trial at Massachusetts General Hospital that required regular trips to Boston. But his condition took a dramatic turn for the worse earlier this fall and earlier this week doctors informed him and Shannon that they had exhausted all means at their disposal. He passed away surrounded by loved ones.

Grove and Rockwell founded TSS in 2009, initially as a half-hour radio show on WRIR, an over-the-air station in their home community of Richmond, Virginia. The duo soon started a podcast to expand on conversations that didn’t fit into that timeframe and before long, their passion project blossomed into a full-time job with several episodes a week, a growing network of sponsors and affiliate shows and thousands of listeners across North America. Last year they joined in partnership with The Athletic to co-produce that site’s soccer podcasts.

Born and raised in Halesowen, England, Grove emigrated to the United States after meeting Shannon while studying in Ireland. He was a passionate Wolverhampton Wanderers supporter and a strikingly kind and outgoing personality who inspired many, not only with his podcasting work but as a soccer writer and editor for Paste magazine and other outlets.