The dad of the Great One says he “never dreamed there’d be such a day as today” — Wayne Gretzky is 50 years old.
Walter Gretzky sat down with 570 News in his Brantford home this morning to reminisce about his legendary son’s life and career, and what it was like to be part of it.
Walter says the 50th birthday certainly came around fast, but what stands out is that “everyday was a good day with Wayne.”
One of the highlights of Walter’s memories of a life of full of highlights is the time Wayne scored his 50th goal in just 39 games, back in 1981.
Walter says Wayne called home after the game, bursting with excitement, saying he set the record, then adding he had told the media he couldn’t do the news conference until he made a very important phone call.
Walter says it was an example of how Wayne thinks of his family before anything else.
As for Walter’s support and nurturing of Wayne’s childhood hockey abilities, he tells 570 News the real reason he built a backyard rink was self-preservation: he was freezing at the various outdoor rinks in town.
But he says he joked with his late wife, Phyllis, with a backyard rink, Wayne could skate until 9 o’clock, and he could stay inside warm!
Walter says there’s a burden though to being his famous son’s father, namely, too many people coming to his door with too many charitable needs.
But he says, he has no regrets.
Walter says he spoke to Wayne over the phone last night to wish him happy birthday, adding Phyllis would have “strung me up” if he hadn’t.