One of the greatest hockey players in the history of the game, Wayne Gretzky is perhaps best known for scoring the most goals in NHL history – a record he held until Mark Messier broke it in 2002.
He also holds the record for most points in league history and was part of two Stanley Cup winning teams – the Edmonton Oilers in 1980 and 1993.
Gretzky earned more than £60m playing for the Oilers and his 14 Stanley Cup medals puts him in the top five of all-time winners of the coveted prize.
In total he has won 15 Scotiabank ‘Big Pluses’ – the Canadian equivalent of a ‘Scholastic Sportsman’s Award’, which is given to the player who has helped his community the most throughout the season.
Much of Gretzky’s journey in becoming a professional player was put into perspective for him when his father Johan, a professional ice hockey player, was diagnosed with lung cancer at the age of 36.
He passed away in 1992 aged 43.
Gretzky started playing hockey at the age of two and was soon moved up to playing in big leagues.
In 1979, Gretzky was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the seventh round of the National Hockey League entry draft and he spent seven seasons with the club, going on to win four Stanley Cups and being inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame in 1996.
He also made a cameo appearance in the 1994 World Cup of Hockey where he started two games in the bronze medal game.
His career was ended by injury in January, 1996, after receiving a second knee injury in as many years.
One of Gretzky’s best known moments came in the 1988 NHL All-Star game, in which he scored seven goals to become the most prolific goal scorer in the event’s history – beating a record set by Marcel Dionne.
In January, 1992, Gretzky decided to retire from the NHL and took up broadcasting.