Why is his net worth so high? Gretzky is earning $18m (£13.5m) this year – approximately £6.4m more than the current highest-paid athlete in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo. He earned $33m (£24.6m) in 2016 and just under $50m (£39.7m) in 2015. The former Edmonton Oilers star is about to turn 68, so he doesn’t have much time left. Gretzky is also well-known for his philanthropy and helping others. He famously asked Ivan Henry, who managed the Toronto Maple Leafs, to give him some advice on how to get rich as he tried to break into the NHL and found fame in the 1980s. Gretzky says Henry told him “follow your nose and never give up. You’re never too old.” (Source: Forbes)
Media playback is not supported on this device Wayne Gretzky’s greatest NHL goals
What did Wayne Gretzky do before he was Wayne Gretzky?
Wayne was born in 1952 in Peterborough, Ontario. His mother, Phyllis, was a singer who went by the name Phyllis Gretzky. Her first son was born on October 27, but his parents waited until Gretzky was a teenager to have him admitted to hospital. His father, the late Dave Anderson, was a Catholic priest.
His first hockey “shout” – as junior hockey players call their scoring celebrations – came in 1965 when he was aged 12.
What are his greatest achievements?
Gretzky won six Stanley Cups between 1984 and 1994 and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player three times (1984, 1985 and 1988).
He was also inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997, 2010 and 2014, while he was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week eight times.
Wayne Gretzky was named The Goal of the Century by Sports Illustrated in 1988.
Gretzky is the only player to score more than 200 goals in each of his first nine seasons (1987-90, 1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96).
His first and only ‘triple-triple’ came in March 1991 when he scored three times in three games against the New York Islanders.
Five of his six Stanley Cup finals appearances ended in victories. He also played for the Detroit Red Wings and the LA Kings.