Tonight, Walter Gretzky, father of NHL legend Wayne Gretzky, has passed away at the age of 82 according to the statement released by the family this evening on social media.
— Wayne Gretzky (@WayneGretzky) March 5, 2021
The hockey world was filled with sadness tonight as Wayne Gretzky announced the news of his beloved father’s passing on social media, revealing that Walter Gretzky “bravely battled Parkinson’s and other health issues over these last few years, but he never let it get him down.”
“For me, he was the reason I fell in love with the game of hockey,” Gretzky wrote. “He inspired me to be the best I could be not just in the game of hockey but in life. We will miss him so much, but know that he’s back with our mom and that brings me and my family peace. He truly was the Great one and the proudest Canadian we know.”
For so many of us, Walter Gretzky was an icon in his own right and Canada’s hockey dad, the stories of him building a backyard rink for his kids now firmly engrained in hockey’s folklore. Scrolling through Twitter, it’s clear how deeply Gretzky touched the hockey community at large and he will be greatly missed.
Rest easy, Mr Gretzky. Thank you for everything.