Holy cross

Bob Fouracre, longtime voice of Holy Cross in Worcester, dies at 83; announced with Bob Cousy, Tom Heinsohn

Bob Fouracre’s radio call about the Holy Cross football team’s spectacular 30-26 victory over Princeton in 1988 was one of his most memorable. It looked like the Tigers had locked him in with a field goal in the dying seconds, but on the kickoff that followed Tim Donovan took a Darin Cromwell full-back and ran for the winning touchdown without further delay.

“Here is Sainte-Croix! Fouracre exclaimed with his characteristic purple passion as the play unfolded. “Sainte-Croix could score! Holy Cross scores on the last game of the game! The scores of Sainte-Croix! Holy Cross wins the ball game and the Tigers are stunned! The Tigers are stunned!

Fouracre’s call was included in the book “Heart Stoppers and Hail Marys, 100 of the Greatest College Football Finishes, 1970-1999.”

Fouracre’s television and radio career spanned 57 years, including 48 years in Holy Cross football and basketball games. As the “voice and spirit” of HC athletics, he exuded flair, knowledge, elaboration, a sense of humor and enthusiasm. ” Yes ! Was one of his trademark cheers.

“I don’t know if there could have been another way for him to both make a living and maybe do what he loved to do in life – talk and talk about Holy Cross, and he did it forever and ever, ”said Holy Cross legend Bob Cousy, one of Fouracre’s television partners and his childhood idol.

Fouracre, a former resident of Shrewsbury, died at The Meadows in Rochdale on Saturday evening after a period of ill health, his daughter, Elizabeth, said. He was 83 years old.

“He was ready and he left with peace of mind,” said Elizabeth, who was by his side. “I think a cousin of mine expressed it better – he signed for the last time on April 17th.”

Fouracre also leaves his sons, Robert and Steven, who were also with him on Saturday.

On Saturday afternoon, Elizabeth said, Fouracre asked, “Who won the game?”

About 30 minutes before Fouracre’s death, the Holy Cross football team defeated Bucknell, 33-10, to win the Patriot League championship.

Fouracre was born in Worcester and raised in Northboro. He was one of the seven children. He graduated from Northboro High and Cushing Academy, then the Cambridge School of Broadcasting. He began his career as a broadcaster at WARE Radio in Ware in 1962 and also hosted local candlestick bowling shows for 20 years.

In 2007, Fouracre was inducted into the Holy Cross Varsity Club Hall of Fame, which was one of his proudest moments, and the International Candlepin Bowling Association Hall of Fame in 2008.

As a child, Fouracre, as he told retired T&G sports reporter Bill Doyle, would reenact the Holy Cross Men’s National Basketball Championship in 1947 using pencils as players and a chalkboard as the court. . He announced the game to himself, and the ending always looked the same.

“Coach Buster Sheary sets up Bob Fouracre from Northboro, Mass.,” And Fouracre would hit the winning shot from midfield to the buzzer.

Fouracre grew up watching Holy Cross-Boston College football games at Fenway Park and Braves Field. Mel Massucco was Fouracre’s favorite player, 14, of the 1951 HC, who lost to British Columbia 19-14 in a last-second touchdown.

“I walked out of Braves Field crying,” Fouracre said in an interview in 2018. “We took this seriously.”

Fouracre began broadcasting HC football and basketball games on Worcester TV Channel 27 in 1970 and went on the radio in 1986. He continued with HC football and men’s basketball until 2015 and with women’s basketball until 2018. He was a regular at Fitton Field and Hart. Center.

“He loved doing it, and you could tell when he played the game he really liked it,” said Ron Perry, the big one from Holy Cross, who was HC’s sports director when Fouracre started advertising the games. from school. “He loved Sainte-Croix, and this was evident in his announcement. He really cared about children and had a good knowledge of the sport.

Perry’s son, Ronnie, played for the HC basketball team from 1976 to 1980.

“Ronnie said to me, ‘Daddy, how lucky have I been? When I was in school, we played in front of full crowds at all of our games, and all of our games were broadcast live on TV, ”said Perry. “We were lucky to have a guy like Bob Fouracre.”

Besides Cousy, Fouracre’s color analysts over the years have included Togo Palazzi, Tom Heinsohn, Gordie Lockbaum, and Tom Kelleher.

Palazzi’s relationship with Fouracre began 67 years ago, when Palazzi, then a senior at Holy Cross, was a counselor at Cousy’s Camp Greylag in New Hampshire and Fouracre a promising young basketball player. It was then that Palazzi, another Holy Cross luminary who was a teammate with Perry on HC’s 1954 NIT Championship team, got his first glimpse of Fouracre’s humor.

“I would see him,” said Palazzi, “this kid with long, slender legs, and he would always look at me. One day I went to put on my sneakers and they were filled with shaving cream. He was putting it in my shoes. He was trying to get my attention, he was good enough to do it too.

The good-natured needling marked their friendship and their years of broadcasting together.

“He was like, ‘You are the most overrated player in Holy Cross history. You couldn’t play today. You’re too slow, ”Palazzi recalls, laughing. “I would return it. (I would say), ‘I just got a message from Bob Cousy, and you were the worst player in the history of his camp.’ We came and went like this. It was a lot of fun with him.

Palazzi said Fouracre would pay him for advertising matches with Cross pens, raincoats and a small stipend.

“He said, ‘I’m giving Cooz $ 500, but you’re not Cooz,'” Palazzi said. “He would give you the deal.”

Even the great Holy Cross footballer Gordie Lockbaum, who worked with Fouracre for several years on the radio, was not immune to Fouracre’s beards.

“He was always breaking my chops about something,” Lockbaum remembers fondly, “like my six TD game at Dartmouth. He was like, ‘Yeah, but it was all 3, 4, and 5-yard runs. . ‘ He could get away with it. It was fun. “

Lockbaum enjoyed their time in the booth with Fouracre, and the time they spent traveling to matches even more.

“We drove all those hours and the radio was off all the time because we were just telling stories,” Lockbaum said. “He was a great conversationalist and a great questioner. He was very curious.

When Lockbaum couldn’t attend Holy Cross matches as a fan, he would listen to Fouracre on the radio all the time.

“He had the ability to give you that wit eye so that you could kind of see the game play out as he described it,” Lockbaum said. “Left to right on the dial of your radio,” and he had all those little tricks that made you smile. He had an excellent voice on the radio and was someone who did his job extremely well.

Fouracre was also a producer and television host of the Holy Cross football show from 1986 to 1999 and of the Holy Cross male and female coaching shows from 1995 to 1999.

Veteran and Worcester-born broadcaster Dick Lutsk replaced Fouracre in HC men’s football and basketball games in 2015. They had known each other for about 20 years.

“He was one of a kind,” Lutsk said. “He bled purple; he lived Sainte-Croix. He was there every day and he had fond memories of the history of Sainte-Croix. He was great to me, a mentor to me. When I replaced him, he encouraged me a lot and always supported me. He was a great guy. I liked it.”

After his retirement in 2019, Fouracre maintained his connection with Holy Cross with daily phone calls to Lutsk, Palazzi, Perry and Rev. Earle Markey.

“He was a dear friend,” Palazzi said. “He was very faithful in his feelings towards the people with whom he felt close. I loved this guy and I will miss him very much.

From 1970 to 1983, Fouracre hosted the popular “Bay State Bowling” in the aisles of State Mutual Insurance in Worcester on Channel 27. For six years, Fouracre hosted “Big Shot Bowling” on NESN.

Also on Channel 27, Fouracre broadcast a season of Celtics road games, a season of Patriots preseason games, including their first game at Foxboro, and several years of college basketball games in New England. He called the games of the Worcester Counts in 1989 and the Bay State Bombadiers in 1983-86.

Fouracre was proud of his career as a broadcaster and, according to his daughter, he enjoyed being a local celebrity.

“He was able to communicate a bit last Thursday,” Elizabeth said. “He was able to reiterate his wishes, even what photo he wanted with his obituary. He was true to form.

“It was his time. He was completely at peace. He said, ‘I’m ready to go home.’ “

Contact Jennifer Toland at jennifer.toland@telegram.com. Follow her on Twitter @JenTandG