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Hall of Fame Canadian sports broadcaster Bill Stephenson dead at age 85

TORONTO - Hall of Fame sports broadcaster Bill Stephenson, who spent several decades on Canadian radio and television, has died. He was 85.

Newstalk 1010 in Toronto, where Stephenson worked for many years when the station was known as CFRB, says he died Tuesday night.

Born in Elrose, Sask., Stephenson started his radio career in his early 20s at CJAV in Port Alberni, B.C., before moving to Victoria's CKDA and Vancouver's CKWX.

During his time in B.C., he covered the Lions, among other local teams, as well as the first sub-four-minute mile at the 1954 British Empire Games.

In 1960, Stephenson began a long career at CFRB, where he covered the Toronto Argonauts as well as several other major sports events, including the 1972 Summit Series.

"There's no doubt that it was a great moment in our lives," Stephenson told bcradiohistory.com. "Our national pride was at stake after the first four games and the team had to preserve our pride in the last four games in Moscow."

He also worked as a sideline reporter for CTV's Argos broadcasts in the '70s and '80s.

Stephenson was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1988.

Known as one of the most outspoken and respected sports commentators in Canada, he is also a member of the Canadian Broadcaster Hall of Fame.

A public service will be held Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the St John's Dixie Church in Mississauga, Ont.

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