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OBITUARY — NORM MARSHALL, CHCH-TV


Norman Marshall
Norman Marshall

Norm Marshall one of Canada’s premier veteran sportscasters died peacefully in his favourite easy chair Monday November 7th”

Its hard to imagine a world without Norm Marshall. Best known as a sportscaster, he was also one of the fastest guys on his feet when it came to delivering an ad lib that left people laughing, and the recipient of his barb bleeding profusely. He was a great guy to be around.

We first met in 1961 when I joined CHML. Norm was sports director. I read the 11:10 p,m sports following the 11:00 news read by a bright young talent named Tony Parsons.  In 1967 Norm and I left CHML to join Ted Rogers new acquisition CHIQ Hamilton. Ted wanted new call letters, Norm came up with the call letters CHAM over a dinner we had with Ted in Toronto. HAM was to represent Hamilton..some suspected the HAM was to honour Norm. He was a ham in the best sense of the word. 

 It was a delight working with this rotund high energy positive leader. Playing golf was his bag. He played with ladies clubs, had a very gentle back swing, and always hit the ball straight down the middle of the faraway. He often told me ” Dick, always remember that its only a little white ball which you hit with a stick”  Norm was always in control of his life as he was of his golf game.  In fact he was out hitting golf balls the day before he died so peacefully in his favourite chair while Helen his wife of 53 years was  brewing a pot of coffee. He was 13 days shy of his 90th birthday. Like I said, Norm was always in control of things, even his sign off.

Born in Toronto, he began singing on the radio at age 12.  He was discovered by CHML owner Ken Soble.  Norm and Ken had a wonderful life long relationship. When Ken launched CHCH-TV he brought Norm with him as Sports Director of  both CHML and CHCH-TV.
During Norms 55 years in the business he did it all including reconstructed football and base ball. Try explaining reconstructed sports to young announcers today and they look at you sideways..Norm told hilarious stories of delays in receiving information during the reconstructed games causing delays of 30 or more minutes.
His list of firsts and awards is long and deserving. During the last Grey Cup game CBC-TV paid tribute to him as the first sportscater to call a TV Grey Cup game in 1952.. I called  later to congratulate him and in true Norm Marshall style he said ” Yes,but the clip they aired was in black & white. I always show better in colour” .
He was a colourful, multi talented, wonderful friend, He will be missed by everyone who knew him
 

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