ABC13 Eyewitness Sports Director Bob Allen signs off

January 18, 2013 5:04:30 AM PST
It was a tough day here at ABC13 as we bid farewell to a pillar of our television station, a good friend and a living Houston legend.

Thursday was Sports Director Bob Allen's last day on the air. He's retiring, and as we let him go, we want to take a look back at the 38-plus years he's shared with us all.

In 1974, the Oakland A's won the World Series, Rice Stadium hosted the Super Bowl -- the Miami Dolphins won -- and at Channel 13, a young broadcaster who used to visit the station as a child began his television career.

Bob Allen is homegrown talent; born and raised in Houston. He started in radio, then graduated to the TV screen, first as the weekend sports anchor. The next year, he became Sports Director.

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.

The two causes to which he's remain devoted are the Special Olympics, featured at his golf tournaments, 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 loves sports, but he loves kids who are confronting challenges even more.

In recent years, the venues have changed as teams left the Astrodome for Reliant Stadium and Minute Maid Park.

It was the Texans last two seasons that excited him the most. Houston's most-tenured sports anchor was also a sideline reporter for the Texans pre-season games broadcast on ABC13.

He announced his plans to retire last year, but stayed on in case the Texans made it to the Super Bowl. That obviously didn't happen, so now some four decades after his first sign on and witnessing nearly every major moment in Houston sports history, Bob Allen is preparing to start the next inning of his life.

"Whenever the last day comes, it's going to be real emotional because I've been through marriages, my daughter was born here, my whole adult life has been in this building," he said.

He retires with memories that are priceless and he leaves us with them as well.

Please join ABC13 in congratulating Bob Allen on his distinguished career! Leave your memories and well wishes in the comments section below.

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