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The Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky, told an incredible story about how he honors a 9/11 victim every day with a photo he keeps in his wallet.
Gretzky played in the Big Apple for the final years of his career and retired as a member of the New Tork Rangers.
On Saturday, he hopped on Barstool Sports’ coverage of the NYPD vs. NYFD hockey game held at his old stomping grounds — Madison Square Garden — and told Ex-NHLers and Spittin’ Chiclets hosts Ryan Whitney and Paul Bissonnette about an incredible gesture he made to honor one family’s lost son.
He explained that he was in Las Vegas for an event when he was approached by Barbara and Bernie Heeran whose son Charlie was killed on 9/11.
Gretzky’s Incredible Gesture Came From A Chance Meeting In Vegas
Gretzky said he and his wife were at the pool when he was stopped by the Heerans.
“They said, ‘Are you Wayne?’ and I said, ‘Yeah,” the Great One said. The Heerans explained to him that their son had died in the attacks on 9/11.
“They gave me his card and I said I said I’ll keep it in my wallet for life.”
That’s a kind gesture, but what really sets Wayne Gretzky apart from a lot of people is that he was true to his word. He said that years later, family friends of the Heerans saw him — once again in Vegas — and asked if he still has the picture of Charlie in his wallet.
Sure enough, he did.
“I pulled my wallet out and I still had the picture,” he said, adding that he had promised the family that he would hang on to it.
“Everyone went through a hard time (on 9/11),” he said, “And for me to keep a little keepsake like that is special to me.”
This is yet another example of how Wayne Gretzky isn’t just the best hockey player who ever played. He’s also, by all accounts, an incredibly thoughtful and genuinely kind human being.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle