Bob Hesketh was one of Canada’s finest sports columnists and radio commentators, a joy to read and a pleasure to listen to.
He wrote a sports column for John Bassett’s Telegram for a number of years, often using the pseudonym Hannibal Bodfish. His writing talent and humane approach to journalism earned him a National Newspaper Award for sports writing in 1957, while his gift for broadcasting ushered him into the Canadian National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1990.
His most popular radio program, The Way I See It, was aired on 40 radio stations for nearly two decades. It was the longest running syndication in Canadian private broadcasting.
He joined CFRB Toronto in 1958 and retired from the station in 1988, but continued to contribute his popular program to radio stations until 1993.
He met his wife, Stella, at CFRB where she worked in production. “We had radio in our blood,” said Stella after Bob passed away in February, 2000 at age 76. “He had big shows. Nobody is going to fill them.”
Hesketh was a very compassionate person. He helped a newcomer to Canada to land a job with The Telegram, even though the fellow could hardly write three sentences in English. Bob helped correct his writing, so when his stories hit the pages of The Telegram — they made sense.
Jacqui Perrin, host of CBC’s Marketplace television show and a friend of the family, said that Bob Hesketh would captivate his audience by giving his unique take on a story.
“Bob was sometimes blunt, sometimes he was funny, but he was never nasty.
The Canadian media lost a valuable asset when Bob Hesketh died.