Legendary broadcaster and voice of the Canucks John Ashbridge dies at 71
A well-known voice in Vancouver, John Ashbridge, has died at age 71.
The longtime broadcaster became synonymous with hockey over the years, lending his voice to the Vancouver Giants as well as the Canucks.
He also made his mark in various newsrooms across B.C., including at CKNW where he started as a news anchor in 1965.
He began working with the Canucks as their public address announcer in 1987. During his time with the NHL, he worked through two Stanley Cup appearances.
It was later that he moved on to become the PA announcer for the Giants. Majority owner Ron Toigo says he was a legend..
“The one thing that stands out is that iconic voice of his that people from around here, and his years at the coliseum with the Canucks and at Rogers Arena, like Vin Scully is to baseball,” he said.
“That voice that John has for hockey is something that we’re all going to miss a lot.”
“No question about it we won the lottery when John Ashbridge got involved with the Vancouver Giants.”
John McKitrick worked side by side with Ashbridge on the CKNW news desk.
“He was always a pleasure to work with because he was a happy go lucky type of workman. I mean he was very serious, he was very thorough as well in his work, but at the same time it was always a pleasure to be on the desk with him,” said McKitrick.
WATCH: John Ashbridge passes away at 71
And Dan Russell who hosted “SportsTalk” on CKNW remembers him fondly.
“He was a giant to me on the CKNW morning news with Frosty [Forst], Big Al [Davidson], John Ashbridge coming, those were quite the radio days.”
Tributes to John, from the many people he knew in the broadcast world through his life, have been pouring in on social media.
John Ashbridge hired me in 1989 out of @CHNL Kamloops. Such a professional and the best writer in the biz. His #crimestopper blurbs made people stop and listen. He was funny, smart and a legend. @GlobalBC @Gordmac980 @jonmccomb980 @simisara980 @CKNW @TomMarknews @WoodfordCHNL
— Janet Brown (@JanetBrown980) June 6, 2018
When I was “just” a part time radio promo gal w/ big sport dreams. John Ashbridge was the first to reach out to say “you can”, to me. He was the Voice of God with the @canucks for decades. Each time we saw one another it was a chance to hug, reflect and support. #thebest #rip
— Jody Vance (@jodyvance) June 6, 2018
Just hearing the news about John Ashbridge and really don’t want it to be true. Ash once told me I was “aesthetically pleasing” and that I should consider TV. Thank you for being hilarious and wise. #rip
— Sophie Lui | 呂婉謀 (@sophielui) June 6, 2018
The Canucks are deeply saddened to learn about the passing of John Ashbridge. He was a part of our family for many years. His voice and cheerful presence will be greatly missed and forever remembered. Our thoughts are with his wife Yvonne and his family tonight. pic.twitter.com/8r9w6Ts1vP
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) June 6, 2018
John Ashbridge, fondly known around the @CKNW newsroom as “Ash”, with his unmistakeable voice and unforgettable kindness. Most will remember him as the voice of the #Canucks, but his news-reading was flawless. He will be missed.
— Ali Hounsell (@sidewaysrain) June 6, 2018
— drex (@drex) June 6, 2018
The Canucks have released a statement saying the organization is “deeply saddened to learn about the passing of John Ashbridge.”
“He was a part of our family for many years. His voice and cheerful presence will be greatly missed and forever remembered.”
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.