1954-58 Central Ontario Junior B Hockey League
Woodstock Warriors # 2 Game Worn Jersey
Bobby Hull, Walter Gretzky and Matt Ravlich amongst its Alumni
This amazing discovery tells a story that has to be told regarding the father of Wayne Gretzky. Considered by many as the greatest hockey player of all time, Wayne Gretzky has had so much of his story documented in the form of video, print and other media. His father, Walter Gretzky is often portrayed in these stories as "Wayne's Dad" who was there for Wayne in support and encouragement throughout his life. However, this jersey shines a new light on just who Walter Gretzky was. He was an excellent high school athlete excelling in track and field. However he was also a prolific goal scorer in his teens playing five years with the Junior B Woodstock Warriors. He tried out for a Junior A team but came down with chicken pox, losing considerable weight. Although he scored as many goals in tryout as others, he was judged too small to make the team. He returned to play for the Woodstock Warriors. Walter was also on a prospect list for the NHL Detroit Red Wings. (Maybe this had something to do with Wayne's lifelong respect and appreciation for Red Wing great, Gordie Howe.)
The 1954-55 Woodstock Warriors Junior B team featured future professionals, Bobby Hull, Matt Ravlich, Al Coletti, Carl Hatt and Myron Stankiewicz along with Walter Gretzky.
It is so interesting to know that Walter was himself a very good hockey player who bestowed so much insight into the game onto his sons Wayne and Keith. Walter wasn't just a "Hockey Dad". He had a background in hockey and athletics that were very instrumental in the development of Wayne Gretzky into the great hockey player that he became.
Bobby Hull and Matt Ravlich are pictured in the middle row, with Walter Gretzky seated in the front row in the image provided of the 1954-55 Woodstock Warriors.