After 52 years in broadcasting, 48 of those with Winnipeg’s 680 CJOB, veteran sportscaster Bob Irving has announced he’s retiring. He’ll conclude nearly five decades as voice of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on the final home game of the season on Dec. 5.
Originally from Regina, Bob “Knuckles” Irving arrived at CJOB in 1973 and became the voice of the Bombers the following year. He’s since broadcast more than 800 games and several Grey Cup games nationally. Among the accolades he’s been recognized with over the years are inductions into both the Blue Bomber and Canadian Football Halls of Fame and the Order of Manitoba. The Bombers media room also bears his name.
“I’ve been lucky to live my dream of being a sports broadcaster at one of the best radio stations in Canada,” said Irving, in a Corus Entertainment press release. “In nearly five decades at CJOB, I’ve covered a range of sports, anchored the morning sports for nearly 40 years, but the icing on the cake has been the chance to be the voice of the Bombers. I’m grateful for the tremendous support of my wife Daye, who has had my back every step of the way, and my kids, Kyle, Reid and Ashleigh, who have provided similar support. It’s now time to hang up the mic and join Daye in exploring what the rest our years have in store. Thanks to everyone I have worked with along the way and to the loyal CJOB listeners who make it all possible. It’s been a sweet ride.”
“Bob has been an essential figure in Canada’s sports community for nearly five decades and has left a legacy at the station,” added Heather Steele, 680 CJOB Manager, Talk & Talent. “His passion, knowledge, and most notably his voice will be greatly missed and we wish him nothing but the best in his next chapter.”
During his run with the Bombers, Irving has missed just a handful of games – while recovering from heart surgery in 2017 and again in 2008 when he also underwent a heart-related procedure.
“Bob Irving has been synonymous with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for parts of six decades dating back to calling his first game for CJOB in September of 1973,” said Winnipeg Football Club President & CEO Wade Miller. “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 for the Canadian Football League. He’s always been giving of his time beyond regular work hours at CJOB by hosting Blue Bomber banquets and other team functions, as well as volunteering for numerous local charities. 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.”
In honour of Irving’s longstanding tenure as the Bombers play-by-play announcer, the team will be dedicating their Dec. 5 game to him, including a pre-game ceremony recognizing his contributions to the team.
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