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Legendary Tigers broadcaster Bob Ridley announces retirement

Randy Feere

After more than 4,000 games, 52 WHL seasons, and countless kilometres as the team’s bus driver, Bob Ridley has retired from the Medicine Hat Tigers.

The Club announced Ridley’s retirement Tuesday afternoon.

Ridley’s voice has been synonymous with the Medicine Hat Tigers since the Club entered the WHL ahead of the 1970-71 season. Over his first 51 years, he missed only one game after he was sent out on assignment to attend the Women’s National Curling Championship in Saskatoon, Sask.

After undergoing treatment this past fall, Ridley returned to the broadcast booth for the team’s final home game of the 2021-22 season in April.

In April of this year, the Tigers unveiled a banner at Co-op Place in honour of Ridley’s career, which spanned more than 4,000 regular season and post-season games and helped create countless memories for hockey fans in Medicine Hat and beyond.

He was behind the mic for the Tigers’ WHL Championships in 1973, 1987, 1988, 2004 and 2007, as well as Medicine Hat’s two Memorial Cup victories in 1987 and 1988.

In addition to his work as the Tigers play-by-play voice, Ridley also served as the Club’s bus driver for 45 seasons.

Ridley’s contributions to Major Junior hockey in Western Canada have been recognized on a number of previous occasions:

1995 – Medicine Hat Civic Recognition Sports Award
2005 – Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Bell Memorial Award
2005 – Alberta Centennial Award
2006 – WHL Distinguished Service Award
2007 – Lifetime Achievement Award, Radio Television Directors News Awards
2011 – Inducted into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame
2019 – Inducted into the Western Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame

In 1995, he was the recipient of the Medicine Hat Civic Recognition Sports Award. In 2005, Ridley was named the recipient of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Bell Memorial Award, and he was also presented with the Alberta Centennial Award by the Government of Alberta. In 2006, Ridley was recognized with the WHL Distinguished Service Award.

In 2021, the Western Hockey League unveiled the Bob Ridley Award for Media Excellence, presented annually to a distinguished member of the radio, television and print journalism industry in recognition of their outstanding contribution to sports journalism and the WHL.

Ridley was named the inaugural recipient.

Hailing from Vulcan, Alta., Ridley began his pursuit of broadcasting working weekends at CJDV Drumheller while attending Mount Royal College in Calgary. From there, he moved on to CKSW Swift Current, working as a rock disc jockey and calling play-by-play for an intermediate baseball team in Swift Current, Sask. Ridley then spent two years at CKKR Rosetown before joining CHAT Radio and settling in Medicine Hat.

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