Canada

Video: Paying tribute to 'Le Gros Bill'

Montrealers talk about their ties to hockey legend Jean Béliveau

Thousands of people braved the cold (and an often hour-long lineup) to pay their last respects to Jean Béliveau.

For two days the northern half of Montreal’s Bell Centre, the home of the Montreal Canadiens, was cloaked in black; Béliveau’s seat, draped in his No. 4 jersey, was lit up by two spotlights from above. Visitors walked a red carpet  to Béliveau’s flower-strewn coffin. Members of the family of ‘Le Gros Bill’ quietly shook their hands.

Outside, well-wishers filled guestbooks before going back into the frigid city that Béliveau helped make proud.

In this video, friends and fans talk about their deep connection to the hockey legend:

A funeral will be held on Wednesday at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral near the Bell Centre.

Related reading: 

Gentleman Jean Béliveau

The meaning of Jean Béliveau

Is Jean Béliveau the best ever? 

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