October 12, 2018 4:41 pm

‘Voice of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ calls milestone game Saturday

680 CJOB's Bob Irving along with Global's Russ Hobson and the CFL's Henry Burris, at the Shaw CFL Player Awards pre-show Nov. 26, 2015.

Walther Bernal / Global News
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680 CJOB’s Bob Irving will be covering his 800th CFL game on Saturday afternoon.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers host the Saskatchewan Roughriders in a 1 p.m. kickoff at Investors Group Field.

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Irving began broadcasting Blue Bomber games on 680 CJOB during the 1974 CFL season after being hired the year before. He recently celebrated his 45th anniversary with the radio station.

READ MORE: Voice of the Bombers, Bob Irving, answers your blue and gold questions

Born in Lestock, Sask., and raised in Regina, Bob developed his lifelong love of the Canadian Football League.

The humble and classy broadcasting legend loves to tell the story about how a chance meeting with the late Ken “Friar” Nicolson turned out to be a life-changing experience. It happened in the parking lot of the Grey Owl golf tournament in the summer of 1973.

Shortly after that conversation, Nicolson hired Bob to join the CJOB sports department. Just 12 months later, “Knuckles” joined the likes of Cactus Jack Wells and Jack Matheson on the Blue Bomber broadcasts, and the rest, as they say, is history.

He’s earned many accolades over the course of his career:

  • Irving was inducted into the Football Reporters of Canada section of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1997
  • The Bombers named the press box at IGF after Irving when the stadium was opened in 2013
  • He received the Order of Manitoba in 2014 and the Hugh Campbell Distinguished Leadership Award in 2015
  • Irving was inducted into the Blue Bombers Hall of Fame in the fall of 2016

READ MORE: Winnipeg Blue Bombers to induct CJOB’s Bob Irving into hall of fame

Don’t ask Bob to single out any one particular game during his CFL Hall of Fame career, because he has enjoyed pretty much every one of them in some form or fashion.

Irving is admired and respected by players, coaches, league officials, and especially the hundreds of thousands of Bomber fans who have listened to games on 680 CJOB.

READ MORE: Winnipeg Blue Bomber fans cheer on their team from around the globe

Bob, who is 68, is frequently asked how long he plans on continuing his amazing career. His answer has always been, “As long as I’m having fun. And in my humble opinion, the most fun I’ve had is doing the play-by-play broadcasts on CJOB.”

WATCH: Keeping up with the grandkids — Bob Irving learns how to Floss

The pre-game show starts at 11 a.m. Saturday.

— With files from Mitch Rosset

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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