December 17, 2017

Winnipeg
-9° C, A few clouds

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Steve Lyons

Sports Editor - Sports

As a young boy in the 1960s, Steve would plead with his mother to let him watch Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday nights. And CFL football. And baseball. And PGA golf. And… well, you get the picture.

His favourite team at the time was the Boston Bruins. Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Gerry Cheevers and, best of all, Ken Hodge, who roamed the right side on a line with Espo and Wayne Cashman. Steve was glued to the television that day when Orr flew through the air after scoring the winning goal in overtime to give the Bruins a Cup victory over the St. Louis Blues.

He read the sports section of the paper every day, enamoured with the NHL scoring summaries and stats.

Steve went to his first CFL game at the age of nine, sitting in the Riders Rookie section at Taylor Field. Yes folks, you heard that right. Lyons was originally a fan of the RIDERS!

After moving to Winnipeg in 1970, though, he started attending Bombers games — and yes, cheered for them as well.

And in 1972 when the WHA was formed and Bennie Hatskin brought the Jets, Bobby Hull and professional hockey to Winnipeg, Steve spent many a night bussing to the old barn from St. Vital to take in the games. Steve was in the stands all three times the Jets clinched the Avco Cup. He was also in the seats that memorable day the Jets scored a 5–3 victory over the Soviet national team (January 5, 1978), making the Jets the first club team ever to defeat the Soviet elite squad.

It’s not surprising Steve now spends his days as sports editor trying to capture those moments for the rest of us in the Free Press sports section where he has worked since 1987.

After attending the U of M and U of W in the early 1980s, Steve landed a gig doing stats part-time at the Winnipeg Sun. A sports reporter internship quickly followed, and a year later he was offered a chance to join the team at the Free Press.

During his first 10 years at the Free Press, Steve worked as a sports reporter, covering local amateur and university sports, horse racing and the Bombers.

More than two decades later, he’s steering the ship in a job a young lad back in the ’60s could only dream of.

Steve covered the last Grey Cup victory by the Bombers in 1990. In the locker room after the game, he was handed the cherished chalice by Bombers defensive back Rod Hill. Hopefully, someone else covering the Bombers will get to touch the Cup some day.

So, who does Steve root for now? Mostly he cheers for the game to end before deadline.