WINNIPEG — At 81-years-old she has a heart of blue and gold and the house to match.
Joan Walsh has been a Winnipeg Blue Bombers fan since the 1960s and has held season tickets since 1986.
Her collection of Bombers paraphernalia ranges from sweaters and jackets to a piece of AstroTurf.
“If it has to with the Bombers, it’s all special,” said Walsh.
She’s rarely missed a game and before her husband Ernie died last year, she used to plan their vacations around the Canadian Football League’s schedule.
“We used to take golfing holidays but always before,” she said. “I wouldn’t miss a Bombers game.”
Walsh would take two of her sons to all the games growing up.
RAW: Grey Cup stops for visit at 81-year-old superfan’s home
“We used to have lots of fun,” said Walsh. “The wave going around. Keith used to say De… and then we would say fense. De-fense…. de-fense.”
On Sunday Walsh unbeknownst to Walsh, the CFL and Shaw Communications, the parent company of Global News, had a once-in-a-lifetime surprise in the works.
The two organizations teamed up to bring the Grey Cup to Walsh’s home for a visit.
“This is a great way to really recognize and thank somebody that is a really big fan of the Canadian Football League,” said Paul Kochanski, Shaw sales manager.
As the Cup’s handler walked in to her living room for the big reveal, Walsh was shocked beyond belief.
“Wow. Im’ speechless,” said Walsh. “Fantastic. It’s unbelievable.”
While the fan experience was meant to give back to someone who has been a lifelong fan, those involved couldn’t help but also be thankful to be a part of the surprise.
“That was unreal,” said Kochanski. “That was one of those things that will last lifelong. It”s amazing.”