Tim Hortons on Wednesday morning published a video that is more an emotional story behind the greatest player of all-time than a commercial.
The video has Wayne Gretzky narrating a story behind the first autograph he ever got as a kid: Tim Horton.
— Tim Hortons (@TimHortons) December 11, 2019
The transcript goes like this:
I remember a lot of things in my life. I remember meeting my idols for the first time. So I remember the day that Tim Hortons was opening, Tim Horton would be here to sign autographs, and I remember, I was 4 or 5 years old, telling my mom you have to take me, I’ve got to go meet Tim Horton.
Tim Horton was probably the first autograph I ever got from a professional athlete; it really changed my life forever. My dad always collected my first autographs and he put it in the scrapbook and forever we couldn’t find where it was and one day we found the actual autographs.
Wayne, Best Wishes, Tim Horton
At the end of the commercial, Gretzky is shown with tears welling in his eyes.
The story is an emotional tribute to Horton, one of the greatest defensemen of all-time. Horton spent 24 seasons in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Buffalo Sabres. His career tragically ended in 1974 when he crashed his sports car in St. Catherines, Ontario. Horton, a member of the Sabres at the time, had played against his famous former team, the Leafs, the night before and was driving back to Buffalo alone. He died at age 44. But his restaurants remain.
Horton first opened a doughnut shop in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1964. Four years later, Tim Hortons had become a multi-million dollar franchise. After Horton died, Ron Joyce, Horton’s business partner, bought the Horton’s family’s shares for $1 million becoming sole owner.
There were 40 shops in 1974. Now there are nearly 5,000 alone in Canada.
The best part is that Gretzky continued Horton’s gesture himself as a player. Gretzky was notorious during his playing days of responding to fan mail and autographing items that were sent to him. One hockey fan posted a signed photo Gretzky sent him, “To Gregg, Best Wishes, Wayne Gretzky.”
— Gregger Saskatoon (@SaskGregger) December 11, 2019
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