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Al Wester, original voice of the New Orleans Saints, passes at 93

Posted Feb 9, 2018

Serving as the club’s play-by-play voice for the franchise’s first four seasons, Wester called two of the most significant plays in the franchise’s early history

Al Wester, the original play-by-play radio voice of the New Orleans Saints from 1967-70, died Wednesday at the age of 93 in New Orleans.

Serving as the club’s play-by-play voice for the franchise’s first four seasons, Wester called two of the most significant plays in the Saints’ early history. The first was in the club’s first regular season game Sept. 17, 1967 against the Los Angeles Rams at Tulane Stadium, when John Gilliam returned the game’s opening kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown. The second took place on Nov. 8, 1970 against the Detroit Lions at Tulane Stadium, when kicker Tom Dempsey booted a then NFL-record 63-yard field goal on the game’s final play for the Saints to defeat Detroit 19-17.

“The New Orleans Saints extend our thoughts, prayers and condolences to the family of Al Wester. Al was recognized as the voice of the Saints for our club’s formative years, as well as being a pioneer in sports broadcasting in New Orleans. He provided our fans with many great memories from those first four seasons.”

Wester began his distinguished broadcasting career in radio in 1949 in Georgetown, S.C., making the jump to television at New Orleans’ WDSU in 1952. In addition to his tenure in play-by-play for the Saints, Wester enjoyed a long career for Mutual Broadcasting System, the predecessor to Westwood One, working on Notre Dame football radio broadcasts for 25 years and also contributing to their NFL, college football and Olympics coverage. He also enjoyed a long career broadcasting golf, covering the Masters for more than 50 years.