"The litigation, the notoriety, his subsequent deportation to Canada..." : the truth behind the legend
For all intents and purposes, Bill Goldthorpe WAS Ogie Ogilthorpe. Everyone knows Ogie was based on Goldie, but does anyone really know why, beyond The ferocious style and massive amount of penalty minutes?
Perhaps one of the mildest moments: Goldie once jumped on the ice in his street clothes to help his teammates in a brawl. "I looked like a guy trying to water ski." He did this twice in his career.
The scene where the hockey puck gets deflectied high into the stands and KO's the organ player is inspired by the time Goldie was sent to the box, incredibly angry. So angry, in fact, that he picked up a water bottle and tried to throw it at a rival player. It slipped, and KO'd the nearby penalty announcer.
During the 1976-77 season, with his arms being pinned by a ref, Goldie bit the linesman on the leg.
Bob Costas once apparently had a death wish. As the announcer for the Syracuse Blazers (Goldie's team), he wasn't once of Glodie's favorites. Once on the team bus, Goldie spotted Costas reading The New York Times. He grabbed the newspaper out of his hands and tore it up into pieces. Costas said to Goldthorpe, "Don't be jealous Goldie. I'll teach you to read." Only Goldie's teammates saved Costas from a bad end.
An enraged Harry Neale once ordered Goldie to fight Aeros d-man John Schella. After the fight, ref Bill Friday gave Goldie an extra two minutes. "For what?" screamed Neale.
"Harry, he left his stick and gloves in the penalty box when he went after Schella," Friday said.
And remember this quote? "Oh this young man has had a very trying rookie season, with the litigation, the notoriety, his subsequent deportation to Canada and that country's refusal to accept him, well, I guess that's more than most 21-year-olds can handle... Ogie Ogilthorpe!"
Goldie started slugging a teammate on the tarmac in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He was arrested for it, the team flight left for Canada without him, and the next day it required two Canadian officials escorting him to get him back into the country.
It certainly didn't stop him from being arrested 18 more times.
Goldie played Juniors in Thunder Bay, and was arrested in his hometown (Homepayne, Ont.), one summer for his part in a fight. During the hockey season, he was allowed to serve his sentence in Thunder Bay. For practices and games, he was released on a day pass.
In 1980, he tried to help an ex-girlfriend handle a problem with her drug dealer. The dealer shot him, it tore up his intestines and just barely missing his kidney. Paramedics said he'd have died if not for his extremely strong abdominal muscles.
Another time, he rushed to the aid of a woman who was being attacked by a man with a knife. It resulted in more than 300 stitches in his arm and hand from the knife.
Goldie and Bobby O'Reilly had a long-running Feud. It ended after Goldie was trying into O'Reilly's box from the ice. Goldie blocked a chair with his head. The next year, the two were teammates and as they shook hands, Goldie complimented Bobby "for being even crazier than me."
Once, when Goldthorpe tossed a puck in the stands during a game in New York the fan caught the puck and promptly threw it back at him.
Goldie was fitness fanatic, and also studied martial arts. He would walk into the Fighting Saints dressing room with a pair of nunchuks, and perform a routine in the centre of the room. He'd then put them away and begin prepping for the game, all without saying a word.
He also liked to work out between periods. Still in full equipment, he'd do clean-and-jerks with 225- pound weights.
Despite his ferocious reputation, he was a gentler man off ice. He only fought off-ice unless provoked, and hated all of the random guys trying to prove themselves tougher than him.
A friend came up with the idea for a Goldthorpe t-shirt: a photo of Goldie on front and "The Bill Goldthorpe North American Jail Tour" with the list of jails and dates on back. Goldie loved it, and donated the proceeds to charity.
His father came to take care of him while he recoverd from the 300 stitches. As his father boarded a train home, he dropped dead of a heart attack. It served as Goldie's wake-up call. He went back to school, then became a construction foreman. He still likes to lift weights, and competed in bodybuilding competitions.
The only thing that still truly bothers him: no recognition from Slap Shot, despite Ogie Ogilthorpe being based on him. They didn't give him the part, because according to Goldie: "They thought I was too wild and I'd beat up Paul Newman."
While the Hanson Brothers are enjoying the limelight still, Goldie is living in obscurity.