December 09, 2014

Guy Lafleur Pays Final Respects To Jean Beliveau

The hockey world was taken by this image of a kneeling Guy Lafleur, described as heartbroken and teary-eyed, paying his final respects to Jean Beliveau and his family.

"They're special people and they have a lot of respect for the fans of Jean Beliveau," Lafleur said to "They're supporting and trying to thank everybody for their support. As an athlete, and I'm sure that the family understands that, they received a lot from the fans, and that's why Jean, he gave a lot back."

Beliveau and Lafleur had a special relationship. Lafleur, literally and figuratively, took the hockey prodigy torch from his idol Beliveau. Beliveau tried to take The Flower under his wing, but it was not easy.

"I stayed at his home for two weeks in my first training camp," said Lafleur. "Rubbing shoulders with Jean Beliveau every day was a great privilege."

"I was really, really shy," said Lafleur. "When you have somebody as an idol and you end up staying at his place, it's not a day-to-day thing, and for me, I was so impressed. It was tough to try to talk to him."

"He was a great source of motivation for me," Lafleur said. "I was wearing No. 4 all the time, all my minor hockey career. I had a chance to meet him when I was 10 years old at the pee-wee hockey tournament in Quebec City, and from that moment I was really inspired by him, not only as a hockey player, but as a human being because he took the time to come and talk to me and congratulate me after the game. I think I was really privileged to have him as an idol, and after I joined the Montreal Canadiens, I had him as a friend."

"They are the good memories and also the visits I had with him," Lafleur said. "I went to see him at his home three times. We didn't speak much, but often you don't need to say much to be understood. But what he did say to me was that it was very important to continue doing what I do for the Montreal Canadiens and the fans, especially for hockey fans."

Let's take a look at a few other images of Jean Beliveau and Guy Lafleur.

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