The Vancouver Canucks say longtime announcer John Ashbridge has died at the age of 71.
Ashbridge began working with the Canucks as their public address announcer in 1987 and continued to work with the team and the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League until recently.
During his time with the Canucks, Ashbridge worked during two Stanley Cup final appearances, travelled with the team to Japan, and provided public address duties for the 1998 NHL All-Star Game.
He was also the PA announcer for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games at Canada Hockey Place.
“The Canucks are deeply saddened to learn about the passing of John Ashbridge,” said a team statement posted on Twitter.
“He was a part of our family for many years. His voice and cheerful presence will be greatly missed and forever remembered.”
The Giants also posted a tribute on Twitter, which called Ashbridge the “voice of hockey in Vancouver.”
“A remarkable man who was loved and respected by everyone he interacted with,” the statement said.
Ashbridge was born in Hastings in England on June 8, 1946, his family moved to Canada in 1947 before arriving on Vancouver Island in 1951.
According to his biography on BCRadioHistory.com,”Ash” went to school in Nanaimo and Victoria.
In 1960, at the age of 13, he got his start in what would a lifelong career.
“At the age of 13, John began hanging around radio station CJVI and soon, when no one was looking, was operating the board. Some time in 1962 he was hired as a part timer and then moved to C-FAX to work for two years while completing high school.”
He moved to Vancouver’s CKNW in 1965 and stayed there for almost 40 years, retiring in 2005.
Ashbridge was given an RTDNA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.
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
with files from Canadian Press