The Los Angeles sports community lost a beloved PA announcer today, causing an outpouring of tributes from fans and colleagues. David Courtney had been the arena voice of the Kings for twenty-three years. He also served as the announcer for the Angels for eighteen years, and Clippers for three.
Courtney became a part of the Kings family early in his life, running errands and doing odd jobs as a teenager. P.A. announcer John Ramsay took him under his wing, and he got his start announcing his high school football and basketball games. Later, he went on to a career in broadcasting and P.R. in Houston. Bob Miller encouraged him to come back to the Kings when a job opened up in 1985; he took over PA announcing in the Gretzky era of 1989. This year would have been his 35th season with the team.
Courtney's enthusiastic voice will never be forgotten by fans. His ringing tones became an essential part of the arena experience -- no warmup could begin properly without the trademark call of "Ladies and gentlemen....yoooooooooour Los Angeles Kings!"
And of course, he was there to announce the Kings' crowning moment, the arrival of the Stanley Cup on home ice:
He proudly posed next to the Cup with a poster bearing his own quote, joking on Twitter: "Just in case you couldn't hear what I said at the time...respecting the writer and sticking to the script."
Heartfelt tributes are pouring in from all who knew him. Luc Robitaille expressed his grief on behalf of the Kings:
"David was tremendously passionate about the Kings, our fans and the game of hockey. His time with the Kings dates back to the mid 1970s both in our PR office as our public relations director and also with work he did in our video department before he took over full-time Public Announcing duties at the Forum and STAPLES Center. In the arena he was an institution – he was the voice of the Kings – and his work added so much to the live, in-game experience for our fans as it did for the Clippers and Angels as well. Next season would have been David’s 35th year with our franchise, and on behalf of the entire Kings organization and AEG we are incredibly saddened by this news and we send our deepest condolences to his wife Janet and the rest of the Courtney family."
The Angels called him "a gentle soul, a consummate professional and an unforgettable voice." Gann Matsuda paid tribute to his character: "David was always friendly and professional, and he always had a kind word for everyone." Jay Flats said, "I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work closely with David and learn from him how to be professional within the sports world." It's clear that this wonderful man was respected and beloved.
I can't believe we'll never get hear him live ever again. As one fan put it: "Every time a player comes up to bat, or scores, it won't be the same."
Our deepest condolences go out to his family. We'll always keep the memories of Courtney in our hearts.