Sports
Cup in Gretzky hometown statue engraved with nonsense, including Kanye West as a former champion

Mark Jackson of Brantford and his three year old son Oliver gaze upon the statue of Wayne Gretzky unveiled Sunday, September 29, 2013 at the official opening of the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre in Brantford, Ontario.

Credits: BRIAN THOMPSON/BRANTFORD EXPOSITOR/QMI Agency

HEATHER IBBOTSON | QMI AGENCY

BRANTFORD, Ont. - What do Rocky Balboa, Oscar Wilde and Kanye West have in common?

According to fine print engraved on the Stanley Cup that is part of the new Wayne Gretzky statue in Brantford, they were players for the Edmonton Oilers and won the Cup in 2003.

Even the Great One's name is spelled incorrectly as "Gretzsky" and he is listed as a member of the "Red Wings."

None of this sits well with a hockey-hungry - and eagle-eyed - youngster who visited the statue at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre with family and friends on Sunday and pointed out a number of other factual errors.

"I think it's kind of offensive," Joel Englund, 12, of Brampton, Ont., said.

The youngster with Asperger's syndrome, who soaks up every hockey statistic that crosses his path and who can recite them back just as quickly, wondered why the statue has incorrect information and names of people with no association to the sport.

Randy Connely of Brantford, a friend of Joel's family who accompanied the youngster to visit the statue on Sunday, called the errors an embarrassment.

"It totally silly. It's almost like (the artist) did it as a joke," Connely said.

In fact, the statue of Gretzky hoisting the revered hockey grail on the grounds of the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre, which was unveiled amid great fanfare and the presence of the Great One himself in late September, contains many erroneous team names and cup dates, plus names of famous authors, musicians, actors, as well as random names and phrases.

Brad Oldham, the Texas-based sculptor of the statue, says the Stanley Cup will be fixed within a week.

He said he hired a Toronto company to restore the depiction of the Cup to his original intention, which was to have texture and shapes that indicate the many names on the actual Cup, but which can't be read.

A statement from Oldham's studio said "no disrespect was intended" and that Oldham "extends his sincere apologies."

Upon learning of the artist's vow to quickly remedy the situation, Canada's most famous hockey dad said he was beyond relieved.

"I'm shocked. I'm so pleased and satisfied that the statue will be the way it should be," Walter Gretzky said, adding the nonsensical engravings were "a mockery of something that should be special to the city and our family."

A closer look at inscriptions on the Stanley Cup, depicted in a statue of Wayne Gretzky unveiled at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre's grand opening in Brantford September 29, 2013 show the extent of erroneous information it bears. In this view, Wayne Gretzsky (incorrectly spelled) played for the 1998-99 Stanley Cup-winning Detroit Red Wings. CREDIT: BRIAN THOMPSON/BRANTFORD EXPOSITOR/QMI Agency

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