Tag Archives: tribute

Hockey world paying tribute to the Great One’s late father, Walter Gretzky

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says Walter Gretzky “embodied all that is great about being a hockey parent.”

Bettman released a statement on Friday following the announcement of the death of Wayne Gretzky’s father late Thursday night.

Walter Gretzky, who had battled Parkinson’s disease, was 82.

Bettman says Walter’s influence on the league and the game was “profound.”

“Teaching the game to his children on the famed backyard rink he built in his beloved hometown of Brantford, Ontario, Walter instilled in them not only an uncommon understanding of hockey’s essence, but a love and respect for the game that has become synonymous with the name Gretzky, all while ensuring that the game was fun to play,” Bettman said.

Bettman praised Walter for staying connected to the game after Wayne retired as a player.

“Walter’s passion for the game and for teaching it to young players transcended place, status and skill level,” he said.

WATCH | Rob Pizzo joins CBC News Network to remember Walter Gretzky:

CBC News Network’s Heather Hiscox and CBC Sports Rob Pizzo reflect on the life of Walter Gretzky. 9:39

“During the two decades since Wayne retired, Walter could always be found at a rink, sharing the game with players and fans at all levels. Quietly and humbly, Walter dedicated so much of his time to countless charities with little fanfare but with a deep commitment to improving the lives of so many — particularly children.”

Oilers release statement

The Edmonton Oilers released a statement, extending their sympathies to the family. Wayne Gretzky played with the team from 1979-88.

“On behalf of the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club, I extend our deepest sympathies to the entire Gretzky family on the passing of Walter Gretzky,” said Oilers chairman Bob Nicholson. “The fabric of our franchise has been woven by some of the most influential players, coaches and executives the game has known and included in that too, are the loved ones that make our team a family.

“From his development and constant influence on one of the greatest players our game has known, to the tremendous impact he had on Canada’s gold medal-winning team in 2002, Walter was truly everyone’s hockey dad. He will be missed by all of us, but the memories created by his tremendous character and passion for our game will remain with us forever.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also offered his condolences in a social media post on Friday morning.

Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Doug Gilmour mourned the loss of “Canada’s Hockey Dad.”

Tributes continued to pour in on Friday

“Always the gentleman. Always had a smile and so incredibly generous with his time. Canada’s Hockey Dad is a very fitting description,” said Leafs president Brendan Shanahan.

WATCH | Walter Gretzky, Canada’s Hockey Dad:

How Walter Gretzky helped make The Great One great. 5:53

Hockey commentator Don Cherry said that “he was truly a great guy. Godspeed Walter.” 

Leafs centre Auston Matthews also paid respect to the Gretzky family.

“Obviously a pioneer of the game. And it’s a really sad day, so my condolences go out to the Gretzky family,” Matthews said.

Tribute from former journalist

Mark Ritter, a former sports journalist and Brantford, Ont., resident, drove an hour on Friday to the city about 100 kilometres west of Toronto to leave a hockey stick at Walter’s reserved parking spot at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre.

He recalled once spending an hour talking hockey with Walter at Wayne Gretzky’s restaurant in Toronto.

“He was always really kind,” Ritter said. “He was always shaking hands. He was always making eye contact with people. I think his greatest gift really was time. I think it’s something that people take for granted these days. And I think we’ve kind of learned a little bit more about that during [the COVID-19 pandemic]. That time is really important. And he gave it up unselfishly with kindness and love and care. We lost someone really special.

“I don’t think you’ll hear a negative word about him. He was a great asset to our country.”

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CBC | Sports News

All Blacks rugby squad pays tribute to soccer icon, ‘world legend’ Maradona

New Zealand paid tribute to Diego Maradona when captain Sam Cane laid an All Black jersey, No. 10, on the field before the start of their Tri-Nations test match against Argentina on Saturday.

As the All Blacks lined up to perform the haka, Cane stepped out, walked toward midfield and laid down the jersey — with Maradona’s name and number on it — as Argentine players stood arm-in-arm and watched.

“It was a gesture, a token, of paying our respects to an Argentine legend, a world legend in his field as well,” Cane told The Associated Press after the match in Newcastle, which New Zealand won 38-0.

Maradona died Wednesday of a heart attack at age 60 in a house outside Buenos Aires. The soccer great had been recovering from a brain operation.

WATCH | CPL’s John Molinaro remembers Diego Maradona’s life, legacy:

Legendary soccer player Diego Maradona has died at the age of 60. John Molinaro joins CBC Sports to discuss his legacy on and off the field. 3:44

The idea came from All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara, Cane said.

“Rugby is a game first and foremost that is built on respect I believe, and it was the respectful and right thing to do,” Cane said.

Maradona’s death ‘a source of inspiration’

Several Argentine players nodded in acknowledgment of the gesture.

“I didn’t know [about the tribute] until I did the coin toss with Sam Cane and he told me about it,” Pumas flanker Pablo Matera said. “I’m really thankful for that. Diego Maradona was obviously huge for Argentina, so I’m really thankful for that gesture from the All Blacks.”

WATCH | Maradona’s famed ‘Hand of God’ goal:

In Mexico City during a quarter-final match against England, Argentine striker Diego Maradona scores “the goal”. 0:50

Matera told The Associated Press that Maradona’s passing had been a source of inspiration for many of the squad.

“Maradona was a guy who represented our country the best way you could represent us as a sportsman,” Matera said. “He’s been a huge inspiration for all of us: players, coaches, the people of Argentina.

“So, we always have him in our thoughts and we just want to represent our country the way he did.”

Manchester City and Burnley soccer players and coaches stood and applauded as a video showed Maradona’s famous solo run and goal for Argentina against England in the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup. The “Hand of God” goal was earlier in the game.

“This week, we lost a true footballing great. Diego Maradona was everything football should be: expressive, exciting, attacking and free,” City manager Pep Guardiola said in the team’s matchday program.

“A unique, once-in-a-generation player who brought joy to so many people,” he added. “Football will never forget Diego.”

WATCH | Maradona’s ‘Goal of the Century’:

After scoring the “Hand of God” goal in 1986, Diego Maradona scores again, a spectacular effort against England. 0:58

Across the world Saturday, teams paid tribute with moments of silence before European soccer games.

City and Burnley players warmed up to the song “Live is Life” by Austrian band Opus. That’s the tune Maradona warmed up to before one of Napoli’s UEFA matches in 1989. The players went through their usual routine as the Etihad Stadium loudspeakers played the song.

Led Napoli to pair of Serie A titles

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti struggled to hold his emotions together. He made the sign of the cross and kissed his finger after a tribute before their match against Leeds. Ancelotti played against Maradona during their time in Serie A and later went on to manage Napoli.

Maradona led Napoli to its only two Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990 and is considered an icon in the southern city.

Tributes are ongoing across Serie A this weekend. The warmup song will also be broadcast in Italian stadiums.

All Serie A players were taking the field wearing a black armband, and a minute’s silence was being observed before each kickoff, with players lined up around the centre circle.

The Italian league is also holding a minute’s silence, projecting an image of Maradona on stadium screens, and highlighting the message “Ciao Diego” on the stands — which, like most stadiums in Europe, are empty because of coronavirus restrictions.

At the 10th minute of each Italian match, an image of Maradona was being projected again, in honour of his jersey number.

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CBC | Soccer News

Demonstrators across France rally in tribute to beheaded teacher

France’s prime minister joined demonstrators on Sunday who rallied together across the country in tribute to a history teacher who was beheaded near Paris after discussing caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad with his class.

Samuel Paty was beheaded on Friday in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine by an 18-year-old Moscow-born Chechen refugee who was shot dead by police.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex stood with citizens, associations and unions demonstrating Sunday on the Place de la Republique in Paris in support of freedom of speech and in memory of the 47-year-old slain teacher.

Some held placards reading “I am Samuel” that echoed the “I am Charlie” rallying cry after the 2015 attack on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. A moment’s silence was observed across the square, broken by applause and a rousing rendition of La Marseillaise, the French national anthem.

Demonstrators also gathered in major cities including Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Nantes, Marseille, Lille and Bordeaux.

French authorities, meanwhile, say they have detained an 11th person following the killing.

Anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard said an investigation for murder with a suspected terrorist motive was opened. At least four of those detained are family members of the attacker, who had been granted 10-year residency in France as a refugee in March. He was armed with a knife and an airsoft gun, which fires plastic pellets.

His half-sister joined the Islamic State group in Syria in 2014, Ricard said. He didn’t give her name, and it wasn’t clear where she is now.

The prosecutor said a text claiming responsibility and a photograph of the victim were found on the suspect’s phone. He also confirmed that a Twitter account under the name Abdoulakh A belonged to the suspect. It posted a photo of the decapitated head minutes after the attack along with the message: “I have executed one of the dogs from hell who dared to put Muhammad down.”

WATCH | French president visits scene where police fatally shot man who killed teacher:

President Emmanuel Macron was among a group of onlookers and police who gathered on a street outside Paris where police shot and killed a man who minutes earlier had killed a middle school teacher. 0:51

The beheading has upset moderate French Muslims, and a group of imams in the Lyon region were to hold a special meeting Sunday to discuss what the group called “the appalling assassination of our compatriot by a terrorist who in the name of an uncertain faith committed the irreparable.”

The head of the world’s largest body of Muslim-majority nations has also condemned the killing. In a statement Sunday by the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Co-operation, the office of the general secretary, Yousef al-Othaimeen, reiterated the OIC’s “well-known position of rejecting all forms of extremism, radicalization and terrorism for any reason or motive.”

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CBC | World News

Naya Rivera Dead at 33: Actress’ ‘Glee’ Co-Stars and Friends Pay Tribute

Naya Rivera Dead at 33: Actress’ ‘Glee’ Co-Stars and Friends Pay Tribute | Entertainment Tonight

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Kim Kardashian Shares Sweet Family Photos In Father’s Day Tribute to ‘The Best Dad’ Kanye West

Kim Kardashian Shares Sweet Family Photos In Father’s Day Tribute to ‘The Best Dad’ Kanye West | Entertainment Tonight

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Bindi Irwin on Keeping Her Last Name as a Tribute to Her Late Father Steve (Exclusive)

Bindi Irwin on Keeping Her Last Name as a Tribute to Her Late Father Steve Irwin (Exclusive) | Entertainment Tonight

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Ellen Pompeo and Kate Walsh Pay Tribute to Iconic ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Scene, 15 Years Later

Ellen Pompeo and Kate Walsh Pay Tribute to Iconic ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Scene, 15 Years Later | Entertainment Tonight

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Jimmy Kimmel Celebrates Fred Willard’s Life and Legacy In Emotional Tribute Episode

Jimmy Kimmel Celebrates Fred Willard’s Life and Legacy In Emotional Tribute Episode | Entertainment Tonight

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Natalia Bryant Shares Tribute to Late Sister Gianna on Her 14th Birthday

Natalia Bryant Shares Tribute to Late Sister Gianna on Her 14th Birthday | Entertainment Tonight

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Dolly Parton Pays Tribute to Late Friend Kenny Rogers: ‘I Will Always Love You’

Dolly Parton Pays Tribute to Kenny Rogers: ‘I Will Always Love You’ | Entertainment Tonight

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