Robert Lachlan Hughes
Born: June 1, 1944 (Regina, Saskatchewan)
Died: November 5, 2013 (Regina, Saskatchewan)
Regina Sports Hall of Fame
Canadian Football Hall of Fame, Football Writers section (1990)
Bob Hughes used a sharp wit and an acerbic pen to cover sports in his native Saskatchewan, where he was the best-known sports columnist of his generation. He was best known for his coverage of the football Roughriders, whose fruitless hunt for the Grey Cup he chronicled for two decades.
Hughes believed the secret to a successful sports column was to express strong opinions, he told Rob Vanstone, his successor as a sports columnist at the Regina Leader-Post.
“I’d be on open-line shows. Half of the callers would be ready to kill you and half of them would agree with you, but it was read. If you write a column and nobody reacts to it, you start to worry a little bit.”
He was born during the Second World War to Helen Elizabeth (née MacLachlan) and Robert Wesley Hughes, known as The Sailor, or Sailor Hughes, a well-regarded Regina sportsman known as a boxer and oarsman.
Young Bob’s newspaper career began as a copy boy at the Leader-Post in 1962. He became a crime reporter two years later, eventually switching to sports, where he covered high school events and the Regina Rams junior football team. His book on the junior gridiron powerhouse — “Regina Rams: A Winning Tradition” — was released in 2003. He also covered sports for the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix and the Calgary Albertan before returning to the Leader-Post, where he climbed up the newsroom ladder, serving as managing editor and executive vice-president. He returned to column writing in 2000.
He was in demand as a speaker at sports banquets and was inducted into both the Regina Sports Hall of Fame and the writers’ section of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in Hamilton, Ont.