Former Vancouver sportscaster Neil Macrae dead at 65

Veteran sportscaster Neil Macrae, known for a Vancouver broadcasting career that spanned decades, has died.

The radio personality worked at CKNW for nearly 30 years before his retirement in 2012. Friends confirm Macrae died last Thursday in Palm Springs at the age of 65.

His former sports director JP McConnell said he was "absolutely shocked" by Macrae's death.

"[It's] very tough to think and talk about it — We shared 30 years together off and on at [NEWS 1130] and [CKNW] and I loved every minute of it ... He was a true talent," McConnell told CBC News in an email.

"Said what he thought ... He was the one guy you had to listen to."

Macrae was known for his candid, fiery on-air spats — most famously taking on former Vancouver Canucks general manager Brian Burke in 1998.

News of the broadcaster's death brought on a flood of condolences online and local media personalities sharing memories of the radio host.