Dr. Sport: Book in the Works on Legendary CKNW Sportscaster


Fiery broadcaster Al Davidson long gone, not totally forgotten

By Greg Douglas, Special to The Vancouver Sun July 18, 2015
Greg Douglas: Fiery broadcaster Al Davidson long gone, not totally forgotten
Columnist Greg Douglas, a.k.a. ‘Dr. Sport.’
Photo by: Vancouver Sun files

VANCOUVER — Retired sports columnist Jim Taylor has given up his fight to have the late Al Davidson (pictured, right) inducted into the media category of the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

“I tried to make it happen several times over the years,” Taylor says from his home in Shawnigan Lake. “The man was a broadcasting icon in Vancouver. In his day, he owned the town. But I guess it’s too late now. The majority of the people on the Hall of Fame selection committee don’t even know his name. Too much time has passed. It’s sad.”

Taylor will be pleased to know that not everyone has forgotten the fiery little man who was once described as “a broadcaster who covered sports the way a penitentiary guard covers prisoners, with a shotgun and a lot of suspicion.”

Over the past two years New Westminster lawyer Michael Sporer has been researching and writing a book about the life and times of Davidson that will be published in 2016 to coincide with what would have been his 90th birthday and 25 years since his passing in August 1991.

Revered broadcasting journalist Lyndon Grove has been working with Sporer as an editor and consultant. The Davidson story goes back to his war years in the RCAF 438 Wildcat Squadron and chronicles his radio career that included stops with CKPR in Port Arthur, Ont., CKCK in Regina and CKY in Winnipeg before arriving at CKNW in 1958.

During his tumultuous career at ’NW, he was acquitted of arson charges that were laid after fire damaged the station’s boat Seawatch and he later won a wrongful dismissal suit for threatening the life of sportscaster Neil Macrae, whom Davidson had hired.

Vancouver Sun columnist Denny Boyd once wrote: “I hated the infuriating way Davidson practised his trade. He was biased, bigoted, vindictive and inaccurate. Put him in front of a microphone and he became as unpredictably dangerous as an exploding stove. But, God help me, I would get out of bed early every morning to hear him commit all the foregoing sins.

“So what was to like about him? He was a standup pal. He would climb a mountain to help you. He wept easily. He loved his family. He knew what he was doing every minute of his most crazed broadcast. He was a runty little pest who was fun to be around.”

Sporer might want to distribute copies of his upcoming book to the BC Sports Hall of Fame selection committee. Taylor says he’d gladly pay for them.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Greg+Douglas+Fiery+broadcaster+Davidson+long+gone+totally+forgotten/11223671/story.html#ixzz3gFIyPnFV


  1. What a rinky dink Hall of Fame if a sportscaster like Al Davidson isn’t allowed in.

    The only way I can explain to the younger readers of this forum what Al Davidson was like would be to say he was kind of like a regional Don Cherry. He really knew his stuff and was fun to listen to.

    When Al would come on the radio to do his broadcast in the morning and again at noon on NW most of the radios on the construction sites I worked on over the years would be tuned in.

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