Red Wings broadcaster Budd Lynch dies

In a photo from the Detroit Free Press In a photo from the Detroit Free Press Budd Lynch, the Detroit Red Wings' announcer, works a game in Detroit. Photo Credit: AP, 2002

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DETROIT -- Budd Lynch, a veteran radio broadcaster who spent more than 60 years working for the Detroit Red Wings and became the team's public voice, died yesterday. He was 95.

Lynch, the hockey club's public address announcer, died following a brief illness at a Detroit-area rehabilitation center, the team said in a release. At 63 years, Lynch was the longest-tenured employee in team history.

"Budd Lynch was a dear member of the Detroit Red Wings family and legendary icon of our community," Red Wings' owner Mike Ilitch said. "Hearing Budd's voice on the radio and over the public address at Joe Louis Arena was something that every Red Wings fan looked forward to and loved. His calm, friendly and distinguished voice was symbolic of who Budd was as a person."

Lynch began his broadcasting career in 1936 at a Hamilton, Ontario, radio station shortly after graduating from high school. He switched stations the following year and volunteered in 1939 in the Canadian Army. Lynch served as a major in the Essex Scottish Regiment during World War II, losing his right arm and shoulder in a rocket attack following the D-Day invasion at Normandy.

He worked with the British Broadcasting Co. through the end of the war and later was hired by CKLW in Windsor where he was sports director and did play-by-play of Windsor Spitfires games.

Beginning in the 1949-50 National Hockey League season, Lynch began calling televised Red Wings games for WWJ in Detroit. He did play-by-play during four Stanley Cup championship campaigns that decade. Lynch became the play-by-play announcer for the Red Wings on radio starting in 1960 and held the job for the next 15 years.

He later served as the team's director of publicity and the public address announcer at "the Joe."

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