CALGARY – Gerry Leighton first hit the ice when he was 12, and now, as he turns 87, he’s still playing hockey.
“I just love playing the game,” Leighton said. “And it’s good exercise, and it’s fun.”
He laces up twice a week with a group of 55-plus players.
“He’s my hero,” said fellow player Doug Wilkinson. “Playing at 87-years-old… that’s unbelievable”.
And it may earn Leighton a place in the record books.
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Leighton says he always focuses on the fundamentals when he’s playing.
“Skate, skate, skate: that’s the name of the game.”
“My grand-kids, I taught them all how to skate,” Leighton said, adding he enjoyed having them come to watch him play. “They’d do the wave as grandpa was skating down the ice, and that was a lot of fun.”
Teammate Jim Hansen is amazed by Leighton, “Gerry’s 20 years older than I am, so he makes me feel like a kid.”
“I’m going to keep playing as long as I can,” said Leighton. “That’s what keeps a guy going”.