09/10/2015 01:30 EDT | Updated 09/10/2015 01:59 EDT

Richard Loney, Longtime Vancouver Canucks Anthem Singer, Passes Away

The singer behind a familiar voice to generations of Vancouver Canucks fans has passed away.

The death of Richard Loney, who was the NHL team's anthem singer for more than 40 years, was announced in a statement on the Canucks' website.

"I was lucky enough to hear him sing O Canada so many times during my playing career. He’s been such a big part of our team’s history and was a true icon in B.C., lending his one-of-a-kind voice to the Lions, Whitecaps, Giants, and even at Safeco Field when the Blue Jays would come for their annual visit," said Canucks' president and former captain Trevor Linden.

Loney began singing the anthem during the Canucks' first NHL season in 1970-71 after reaching out to the team himself.

The singer was a left winger with the UBC Thunderbirds in the 1960s but later became a teacher, according to a 2011 profile in Victoria News. He also performed with the Vancouver Opera and Theatre Under the Stars.

Loney shared his secret with the outlet of how the calmed his nerves in front of the crowd at the Pacific Coliseum: "What I had to do was focus on a spot, one of the (rink) adverts and just stared at it and sang to that spot, trying to block out everything else. And it went fine."

Linden said on Wednesday: "He was such a nice man and I will miss him. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife Marion, and his family and friends."

Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram

Also on HuffPost

  • April 30, 1994
    Pavel Bure dekes out Mike Vernon in double overtime to score the Game 7 series-winning goal against the Calgary Flames in the opening round of the 1994 playoffs. This was the Canucks third straight overtime goal after being down 3-1 in the series.
  • June 26, 1999
    Ryan Remiorz/Canadidan Press
    Already slated to have the third overall pick in the '99 draft, the Canucks made some crafty trades to end up selecting Henrik and Daniel Sedin second and third overall.
  • May 24, 1994
    Greg Adams stuns the Maple Leafs on a rebound past Toronto netminder Felix Potvin in double overtime to push the Canucks into the 1994 Cup final.
  • April 29, 1982
    Vancouver Canucks
    Upset with the officiating in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final against Chicago, coach Roger Neilson puts a white towel on a stick and waves it in a mock surrender. The iconic “towel power” was born from there. The Canucks won the series and would appear in the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in team history.
  • April 26, 2011
    Alex Burrows does it all himself and scores in overtime of Game 7 to beat the Chicago Blackhawks, sending the Canucks to the next round.
  • May 24, 2011
    The only man on the ice that did not lose sight of the puck, Kevin Bieksa scores a bizarre goal in overtime to beat the San Jose Sharks in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals, sending the Canucks to the Stanley Cup finals.
  • June 17, 1989
    The most electric Canuck player of all time, Pavel Bure was drafted in the sixth round (113th overall) of the 1989 NHL entry draft.
  • March 20, 1996
    Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images
    Easily the most lopsided trade in Canuck history, the Canucks acquired Markus Naslund from the Pittsburgh Penguins for Alex Stojanov. Naslund would become Canucks captain for eight years, while Stojanov finished his career with seven points in 107 NHL games.
  • May 11, 1995
    In dire need of a momentum boost in Game 3 of the Western Conference quarterfinals, captain Trevor Linden levels Jeff Norton of the St. Louis Blues through the glass at the Pacific Coliseum. The Canucks went on to beat the Blues 6-1.
  • April 5, 2008
    After spending 20 seasons in the NHL, Trevor Linden plays his final game as a Canuck and receives a series of thunderous ovations from the sold-out crowd at GM Place.
  • Jan. 24, 1999
    AP Photo/James A. Finley
    The day Mike Keenan was fired as coach.
  • April 10, 2010
    Henrik and Daniel Sedin work together to score the 2010 goal of the year on Miikka Kiprusoff. Henrik went on to win the Art Ross Trophy in 2010, followed by brother Daniel in 2011.
  • November 3, 1991
    Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images
    One of the greatest players in Canuck history, Stan “Steamer” Smyl receives a standing ovation as his #12 jersey is raised to the rafters at the Pacific Coliseum.
  • April 11, 2007
    In his first career playoff game, Roberto Luongo turned away 72 shots as the Canucks outlast the Dallas Stars 5-4 in quadruple overtime. It was the sixth longest game in NHL history.
  • May 6, 1982
    Fred Jewell/AP
    Harold Snepsts' moustache forever.
  • December 10, 1980
    After being traded from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Vancouver Canucks, Tiger Williams scores against his former team, and creates one of the best goal celebrations of all time.