It was in the 1960s that Bob Irving started his career in the sportscasting field, and what a career it has undoubtedly been for the Canadian born in Regina, Saskatchewan. It was in Estevan, Saskatchewan that he worked at a local radio station to begin his career.
It wouldn’t be until the 1970s that he would move on from there, settling in Brandon, Manitoba for a wee bit, but finally landing in Winnipeg where he would ultimately stay for the length of what has been quite the legendary career with CJOB Radio—where he would of course end up calling games for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
It was in 1997 that he was inducted into the Football Reporters of Canada section in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. Also in 2013, the media room, which was new at the time at IG Field, was named in his honor, and a year later “he was made a member of the order of Manitoba,” as his Wikipedia page specifies.
After all this, he has decided to hang it up for good and some members of the CFL family have bid him a fond farewell and congratulations on an astoundingly long and obviously prosperous career.
Winnipeg Football Club President and CEO Wade Miller, said of Irving:
“Bob Irving has been synonymous with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for parts of six decades. Bob has made a lasting mark with his contribution to the organization. He has been a tireless supporter of the Blue Bombers and a passionate advocate for Manitoba and the Canadian Football League.
We’re fortunate to have been able to listen to Bob for as long as we have and wish him the best in an incredibly well-deserved retirement. We look forward to doing something special for him before the West Final in the last game he’ll call at IG Field. We’re going to honor Bob Irving like he should be — I’m not sure there’s anything we actually can do that would honor somebody who’s been around the team for 50 years — that’s pretty amazing, and I don’t think you’ll ever see that again.”via Global News
Almost 50 years! That’s certainly a long career for sure. It was a few years ago that his son tweeted about how proud he was of his father, having clocked in 45 total years at the sportscaster’s desk for CJOB and for Winnipeg’s Blue Bombers.
Milt Stegall, an honored former Blue Bomber, said of Irving:
“There’s so many great things I respect and love about Bob. I’ll call him Mr. Irving, because that’s how much respect I have. He’s that guy who can ask that tough question and make you not feel bad. Bob would come in and say, ‘hopefully you don’t mind me asking this question — it’s a tough one but it needs to be asked.’ He always had a smile on his face, no matter what was going on — and you knew with Bob he was somebody who was respected and who was always respecting you.”via Global News
And it’s with that same smile that he takes his leave, and we smile back at him in return…saying thanks for the inspiration, for the reporting, for the play-by-plays and for being there through thick and thin. From everyone here at the CFL News Hub, we wish him well.
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