Walter Gretzky, one of Canada’s all-time great hockey figures, has passed away. Age-wise, he was 82.
Wayne Gretzky’s father established a name for himself and was a pillar throughout his life. Walter remained a recognisable example of a dedicated hockey parent during Wayne’s climb to fame.
On Thursday night, Wayne Gretzky posted on social media that his father had gone away.
Wayne said, “It’s with tremendous sadness that Janet and I share this news,” expressing his sorrow over the passing of his father. He bravely fought Parkinson’s and other health issues, but he never gave up.”
Because of him, I developed a deep love for the game of hockey. He inspired me to strive for excellence in both life and hockey.”
The relationship between the two fathers and sons was shown in commercials for Tim Hortons and Coca-Cola. They followed in Alexander Graham Bell’s footsteps by making Brantford, Ontario, renowned.
One of Walter’s great achievements was that he was praised for more than just having a famous child. Canadians connected with his practical outlook on life and affection for his family.
In his autobiography “Walter Gretzky,” published in 2001, Walter said, “There are times when I have to pinch myself to be sure I’m not dreaming. Hockey, Family, and Healing”
Also Wayne feels that way.
Walter’s renown increased after he made a remarkable recovery from a stroke in 1991. In 2005, he published his autobiography and made a TV movie out of it.
Walter Gretzky, the son of Polish and Russian immigrants, was born in Canning, Ontario, where Wayne Gretzky first learned to skate. They bought it for $600.
The Renowned Gretzky
Given that Tony’s father moved to the US from Russia and couldn’t write in English, he changed his last name from Gretsky to Gretzky when he enlisted in the First World War. Mary, Walter’s mother, travelled alone to Canada in 1921 at the age of 18.
Walter’s parents first met in Toronto on a trip there in the 1930s. He was the fifth child in a seven-person family when he was born.
He began playing junior B hockey in Woodstock after playing minor hockey in Paris, Ontario. He continued to play senior hockey but turned down professional hockey because he didn’t think he was talented enough.
Phyllis and Walter first met at a wiener roast on the family property. She was 15 at the time. They got married three years into their relationship.
In 1961, Wayne and Kim were the first to give birth, followed by Keith, Glen, Brent, and Kim. Both Keith and Brent played ice hockey professionally.
The year Wayne was born, Walter was working as a Bell lineman when he sustained a head injury. After a near-fatal accident that put him in a coma for several weeks, he was sidelined for 18 months. He was born deaf in his right ear and worked his way up the Bell corporate ladder until he was hired as an installer/repairman.
He called it the Wally Coliseum since it is the name of the rink his father in Brantford, Ontario, built in their backyard when he was just four years old. Wayne has loved hockey since he was a young boy.
In order to avoid having to stand outside in the bitter cold while Wayne skated at another outdoor rink or sit in his car with the engine running to get warm, Walter built his own rink. He lamented the high cost of gas.
He said, “It was for My Own Good.”
Walter encouraged his son’s hockey addiction by recruiting older kids to compete against Wayne in the backyard and by enrolling him on a team of 10-year-olds when he was only six.
You knew he was good at what he was doing at his age,” Walter said.
But you couldn’t predict that he’d act in that way in the future.” Nobody could pull it off.
Wayne sobbed when he learned he wouldn’t be given a trophy for his first season of organised hockey at the year-end dinner.
Wayne’s father told him, “If you keep working hard, you’ll get so many trophies that we won’t be able to store them all.”
Walter firmly believed that hard work pays off.
People will evaluate you based on how you perform each night, your father said. Wayne was eleven at the time. This must always be kept in mind.”
He experienced a similar barrage of hatred in the 1983 Stanley Cup Finals when he was 21 years old.
I don’t know where I’d be without him, but I know it wouldn’t be in the NHL, Wayne said in his autobiography.
Walter Admitted, “I only believe I Instructed him to Play well.
Sometimes hockey got in the way. Since Wayne was taking part in a small tournament in Mexico in 1972, Walter was unable to see the birth of their oldest son, Brent.
He added, “Phyllis recalls my first words to her were, ‘We won, we won!'” in the maternity ward. It’s a boy, Walter, she informed me, as if I were insane.”
I guess I’ll have to own up to the fact that at times, my passion as a hockey dad went a bit too far. Naturally, my new son, a potential hockey player himself, was greeted with open arms.
Until it hit 200,000 miles or broke down, Walter would drive an old blue Chevy station waggon, nicknaming each one the Blue Goose. It was a “reliable family automobile,” according to him.
Wayne gave his Father a blue Cadillac as a gift for their 25th Wedding Anniversary.
He characterised Wayne as “a man with continual headaches, ulcers, and ringing in his ears,” which was exactly how he had depicted his childhood idol. When it comes to teaching, he follows the same procedures and holds the same beliefs as always. He does not alter.”
“Hockey used to be the reason I had everything, but it turns out that wasn’t the case. Everything he possesses came from his parents.
It was reissued in paperback when “On Family, Hockey, and Healing” was released. In the introduction, Walter answered an earlier question: What’s it like to be the parent of a hockey star?
The event had been “wonderful over and above my greatest aspirations,” according to him. This initiative has made it feasible for me to travel the world, interact with amazing people, and accomplish things I never would have otherwise.
I love to tell stories, and these encounters have provided me with a tonne of fodder! I’m delighted I could share this beautiful experience with my loved ones because it’s been so wonderful “.
His argument was that the story was more complex than first appeared.
It’s a privilege, but it also carries a responsibility, as he put it. You attract “some very odd stuff” when you reside somewhere where you are always in the spotlight, he wrote.