Edmonton Oilers fans gathered outside Rogers Place on Friday afternoon as the funeral procession for superfan Ben Stelter passed through the city’s downtown core.
Ben passed away on August 9 after a courageous battle with brain cancer. He was six years old.
The young fan inspired fans in Edmonton and around the National Hockey League during the 2021–22 season and the Oilers’ subsequent playoff run, capturing hearts with his cries to “play La Bamba” after wins and developing a relationship with Oilers captain Connor McDavid.
Fans carried signs bearing messages including “rest easy, Ben” and “we’ll miss you,” as well as copies of the La Bamba record, as Ben’s funeral procession passed in front of Rogers Place.
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Members of Canada’s 2022 World Junior team also paid their respects to Ben on Friday.
McDavid attended the celebration of Ben’s life on Friday, wearing a special Oilers jersey with the No. 22 and the name “Stelter” on the back.
The jersey also featured a “B” on the chest in place of McDavid’s usual “C” insignia.
“He was an amazing little guy who lit up every single room he was in, certainly lit up our room every time he walked in there,” McDavid said earlier this month, shortly after Ben’s passing. “Obviously a terrible day and we’re thinking about the entire Stelter family.”
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