ENFIELD: You may remember Darryl Pottie by the plywood sign that sat out front of his Enfield home last summer.
“Sid sign my jersey,” it read, as his favourite hockey player was on his way home with the Stanley Cup in tow.
He attached his Pittsburgh Penguins jersey, hoping Sidney Crosby would drive by, see it and sign it for him. He had no idea a request for his idol’s signature would wind him up him signing his own name as a published author one year later.
To recap the story that went viral during the summer of 2016: the sign was up for two weeks, the parade had passed and the jersey remained unsigned. Pottie gave up hope and the sign came down.
Little did he know at the time that Crosby had seen it, and nearly three weeks after the parade he made a surprise appearance at the Pottie residence.
“He dropped in, my wife answered the door and they were talking for a while for about 20 minutes and he had said that he had driven by and saw the sign and had a good chuckle over it, but wasn’t able to stop in at the time, but when he got back he wanted to make sure that he stopped in to sign the jersey,” said Pottie.
The good news is Pottie finally got three jerseys, a t-shirt and a photo signed by his idol that day.
The bad news was that he wasn’t home for the visit.
“At first when my wife first told me I was kind of disappointed until I got home and I saw the signed jersey,” he said. “And you know I thought, how can you be disappointed in something like this? It’s pretty amazing that he did something like this.”
He posted the photos from his visit on Facebook, where the encounter was shared thousands of times, picked up by reporters and eventually the story found its way to Janet Matthews, author of many of the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul books.
Matthews was working on Chicken Soup for the Soul: Spirit of Canada, a collection of great Canadian stories which was released last month in celebration of Canada 150 — and she wanted it to feature Pottie’s viral story.
“She contacted me through Facebook and I certainly agreed to it because it’s just a great story and I love telling it,” said Pottie. “She told me I could either write the story myself, or that her and I could do it together and I thought, oh jeeze, I’m going to try this, I’m going to try and write this and see what happens. So I wrote the story and it came out OK.
“There was a book signing in Toronto and they invited me to go and I thought, ‘Well, you know what, I’m probably not going to ever be invited to a book signing ever again in my life’,” he said with a laugh.
Pottie said the overall experience has been incredible and he can’t wait for Crosby’s homecoming this year.
“He’s such a hero to me.”