It is with the heaviest of hearts that we can confirm that Edmonton legend, Joey Moss, has passed away at the age of 57. Moss served as an Oilers locker room attendant since the 1980s, when Wayne Gretzky took a liking to the hardworking man after dating Moss’s sister. Since then, Joey captured the hearts of Edmontonians. Always quick to take a photo with fans and always with a warm smile.
He was more than just a pure-hearted human being, Joey was also an inspiration to thousands. He had been diagnosed with Down syndrome when he was born, a genetic disorder that affects development in a number of different areas, but it never seemed to have an affect on his work ethic. Whether it was organizing sticks or helping to fold towels, Joey was always giving it his all.
Edmonton fell in love with the man. A blue-collar working class city attached themselves to Joey as they recognized his unwavering passion to do the best job that he could with the city’s pro sports clubs. Outside of his official duties, Moss was most well-known for his passionate anthem singing before each Oilers game. He would be seated directly behind the Oilers bench belting out every word of the Canadian anthem night in and night out.
I only had one brief encounter with Joey Moss during his celebrated life. I got to shake his hand in between periods at a game when I was around 13. I’ll never forget how focused he was on doing his job and then looking over at me with a warm smile to shake my trembling hand. I consider it one of the greatest honours of my life thus far.
As we say goodbye to Joey Moss I can’t help but think of the beautiful mural of Moss created by Ian Mulder in 2008. It is located at 7016 99th street and features a smiling Joey Moss sitting on a bench in front of Rexall Place waving to those who admire the artwork. I already took a drive down to the mural to lay some flowers at its base.
Rest easy Joey, Oil Country will miss you dearly.