We're saddened by the passing of our longtime friend and colleague Bob Allen, ending his battle with cancer. He was 70 years old.
VIDEO: Longtime Eyewitness Sports Director Bob Allen lost his battle with cancer at age 70
Bob spent 38 years as part of our family at Eyewitness News, ending his career with ABC13 as our Sports Director in January 2013. Bob spent the remainder of his television career with KHOU.
VIDEO: Bob Allen as Eyewitness News Sports Director in an on-air promotional spot that aired around 1980
Bob was born and raised in Houston, where as a child he visited the abc13 studios. He started his career in radio, then graduated to the TV screen in 1974, first as the weekend sports anchor. The next year, he became Eyewitness News Sports Director.
VIDEO: Bob Allen was an enthusiastic supporter of the Sunshine Kids Foundation
From the glory days of the Luv Ya Blue Houston Oilers-Earl Campbell era, to some low points when Bum Phillips was sacked, Bob was there. To the Astros and Nolan Ryan, the games, the highlights; and he was there as the Rockets became world champions -- twice.
Off the court and playing fields, he interviewed heavyweight champions like Muhammad Ali, legendary coaches like Darryl Royal and Indy 500 winners like A.J. Foyt. Bob was about all of that. But he also had a softer side.
VIDEO: Bob Allen was live in the locker room in 2005 when the Astros made it to the World Series
Bob was devoted to the Special Olympics and the Sunshine Kids. Each winter, he would take time off and take a photographer along on their annual ski trip for young cancer patients. Bob loved sports, but he loved kids who are confronting challenges even more.
VIDEO: Bob Allen remembered by sports star
Bob began the fight of his life in the summer of 2015, when he announced had a form of T-cell lymphoma.
Bob's family issued the following statement: "On behalf of Bob Allen's family, we are so incredibly touched by the love and support shown to us during this difficult time. My dad valued his place in the Houston community, and the encouragement he received from you over the last two years gave him more strength and comfort than you will ever know.
We are in the process of planning a private Memorial Service for Bob's family, friends, colleagues and loved ones."
Bob is survived by his daughter and son-in-law Genna and Brent Fincher, his grandchildren Mason and Hayden Fincher, his brother and sister-in-law Ken and Debbie Egalnick, niece Kristin Egalnick, nephew Kenny Egalnick and great nephew- Kane Hutchison.
VIDEO: Bob Allen with cancer patient and amputee Shelby Robin
Remembering former ABC13 sports director Bob Allen