Rene Rancourt will pump his fist for the last time at the TD Garden at the end of this season.
Rancourt, the 78-year-old opera singer who began singing the national anthem before Boston Bruins games in 1975, announced Wednesday that he will retire at the end of the season.
Rancourt modeled his signature fist-pump after former Bruin Randy Burridge’s ‘Stump Pump’ and he’s been known to throw in an extra pump or two if the occasion demands it. Rancourt started singing the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ at Red Sox games before taking over the U.S. and Canadian anthems at the Garden in ’75.
Rancourt has belted out thousands of national anthems, but perhaps his best rendition came on April 17, 2013 before a Bruins-Sabres game. It was the first sporting event in the city after the Boston Marathon bombing, and Rancourt let the Garden crowd take over.