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Rene Rancourt, a Bruins Anthem Fixture, to Retire After This Season

Rene Rancourt is retiring his fist pumps after more than 40 years with the Bruins. 

Iconic Bruins national anthem singer Rene Rancourt will retire after this season, the team announced Wednesday. 

Rancourt, 78, has been singing the anthem at Bruins games for more than 40 years, since 1976. He did the anthem at Boston University hockey games while a student there and also performed at Red Sox games before latching on with the local NHL team. 

Rancourt has become a fan favorite in Boston, perhaps known more for his flair—the tuxedo, the salute and the multiple fist pumps—than for his classically trained opera voice. 

Perhaps Rancourt’s most famous anthem came in April 2013, in Boston’s first sporting event since the marathon bombing. Rancourt began singing the anthem and then gave way to the crowd

He spoke Wednesday about how he started singing the anthem for the Bruins.

The Lewiston, Maine, native will be honored by the team before the regular-season finale on April 8.