“That’s What’s Really Special About His Story”: Wayne Gretzky Proved Why He Is the True GOAT With Heartwarming Act for ‘Special’ Friend in 1984

Published 02/20/2023, 12:15 PM EST

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NHL icon, Wayne Gretzky is hailed as a legend in the sports community. But his off-field legacy is often underestimated. Besides being a champion on ice, he part-timed as an amazing human being. Evidently, his humble and amiable personality has endeared him to a lot of people, but his love and compassion towards the differently abled were commendable. 

As per a 2016 article by People, Gretzky cultured a beautiful relationship with Joey Moss, his ex-girlfriend’s brother who had Down Syndrome. Remarkably, they are close buddies to date, and the athlete had gone out of his way to establish a great life for his friend and the community. Let’s find out more about the wholesome instance. 

Wayne Gretzky’s special buddy


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According to People, a 20-year-old Gretzky met a teenager Moss, in 1981. After that, their friendship sailed off to the edge of eternity. Instantly mesmerized by his presence, he wanted to do everything in his power to give him a caring life. Hence, three years later, he got his buddy a job as the Edmonton Oilers locker room attendant. Moreover, he even managed a home for Moss in 2007, after his mother died. “The people of Edmonton have accepted Joey as an everyday person without any sort of handicap and that’s what’s really special about his story,” the Hall of Famer stated. 


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In 1985, the Canadian star raised a significant amount of money through golf tournaments that went to the Edmonton, Alberta-based Winnifred Stewart Association. This organization provided services for alike differently-abled people and housed them safely. “Wayne’s legacy has continued to live on, allowing us to expand our services and opportunities to others like Joey,” said Vicky Andreas, a member of the organization.

Read More: “We Were Quite Worried”: Wayne Gretzky Became a Victim of Unruly Crowd Behavior During Childhood, Revealed His Coach in 1974

Besides that, Moss’s sincere work ethic earned him a permanent place on the team. He was also invited to sing the national anthem at games along with posters and murals all around the city featuring the special guy. “He’s everywhere and I think it’s wonderful,” Gretzky revealed. Further, he even got Moss another job with the professional football team of the city. In addition to being a great humanitarian, The Great One also did great things for his beloved sport. 

Wayne Gretzky highlights his efforts for hockey


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Talking to the Spittin’ Chiclets, Gretzky once got candid and spoke about his suspension from Canadian Ice Hockey. He admitted to having received an official letter from the authorities on the case. Further into the interview, he listed the amount of work he put in to develop the game in his country. “The ironic thing about it was, when I became Wayne Gretzky in the NHL, I did so many charity events for minor hockey across Canada, not just Ontario,” he declared. 

He also claimed to have donated several pieces of hockey equipment, which, as a matter of fact, is quite expensive. Nonetheless, his suspension didn’t discourage his endeavor to upscale the standards of ice hockey in Canada. 


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Watch this story: Here’s a quick look at top homes owned by NHL players

Undoubtedly, Wayne Gretzky is the ultimate G.O.A.T. His name was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and subsequently into people’s hearts. His immense success never let him disregard his core values and always had his feet on the ground. Hence, he is rightly named, The Great One. 


Written by:

Tiyasa Biswas


One take at a time

Tiyasa is a US Sports author for Essentially Sports. She charts her journey in the sporting world right from her childhood. A basketball player all through her high school and college days, Tiyasa looks up to Michael Jordan as her idol, and reveres the Mamba Mindset.
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Edited by:

Jahnabi Choudhury