Legendary Edmonton locker-room attendant Joey Moss dies at 57

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EDMONTON — Joey Moss — a legendary locker-room attendant for the NHL's Edmonton Oilers and CFL's Edmonton Football Team — has died. He was 57.

The Edmonton Football Team confirmed the death on Monday by saying the city has lost a "hero." No cause of death was given.

Moss was born in 1963 with Down Syndrome, the 12th of 13 children to Lloyd and Sophie Moss. 

He became the Oilers' locker-room attendant in 1984 when superstar Wayne Gretzky was dating his older sister, Vikki. Moss joined the Edmonton Football Team in 1986 and held roles with both organizations for over 30 years.

He worked with the CFL club from the opening of training camp in June until mid-August, at which time he headed over to the Oilers locker-room for the NHL season — capturing the hearts of Edmonton sports fans along the way, particularly with his enthusiastic participation in the national anthem before the start of every hockey game.  

Moss helped the training staff with such tasks as filling water bottles and equipment duties, but became more than an attendant over the years by providing inspiration to everyone in the locker-room.

Moss was awarded the NHL Alumni Association's "Seventh Man Award" in 2003, for those "whose behind-the-scenes efforts make a difference in the lives of others." 

In October 2008, Moss was honoured with a mural in Edmonton for his service with both clubs. In 2012, he received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal honouring significant contributions and achievements by Canadians, and was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.  

Moss also inspired the Joey Moss Cup, a tournament held at the end of Oilers' training camp. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on October 26, 2020.

The Canadian Press