Wayne Gretzky’s legendary hockey player father, Walter Gretzky, has passed away at the age of 82.
On Thursday, Wayne Gretzky broke the news on Twitter, writing that his father “bravely battled Parkinson’s and other health difficulties over these last several years, but he never let it get him down.”
According to Wayne Gretzky, “he was the reason I fell in love with the game of hockey.” As his nephew said, “He was the Great One and the proudest Canadian we know. We shall miss him so much, but knowing that he is back with our mom offers myself and my family peace.”
It was in 2005 that Phyllis, Walter’s Wife, Passed away from Lung Cancer.
Walter’s parents immigrated from Belarus and settled in Ontario, Canada. Because of “his contributions to minor hockey in Canada and his dedication to supporting a variety of local, regional, and national charities,” he was awarded the Order of Canada in 2007.
On the Backyard Rink He Constructed, He Showed his kid the Fundamentals of the Sport.
Wayne Gretzky, in his autobiography written in 1990, recalled how his father would have him do shooting drills to hone his anticipation skills.
People frequently tell me, ‘You must have eyes in the back of your skull,'” he wrote. To which she responded, “Baloney. I’ve just learned to guess what’s going to happen next. It’s anticipation. It’s not God-given, it’s Wally-given.”