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It has been a long time since Edmonton fans cheered Mark Messier the way they did Tuesday night.

Messier, who celebrated five of his six career Stanley Cups with the Oilers before retiring in 2005, had his No. 11 raised to the rafters of Rexall Place in an emotional ceremony prior to Tuesday's game between the hometown Oilers and Phoenix Coyotes.

Mark Messier wipes away tears during Tuesday's tribute at Rexall Place. The 46-year-old Edmonton native is the sixth member of the Oilers so honoured, joining Al Hamilton (3), Paul Coffey (7), Jari Kurri (17), Grant Fuhr (31) and Wayne Gretzky (99), now head coach of the Coyotes. "One of the reasons that made it so special to play here is that I was born and raised here," Messier told the capacity crowd of 16,839 in attendance. Dressed in a vintage Oilers uniform, Messier skated a lap around the ice with the Stanley Cup to a tumultous standing ovation and was already in tears by the time he placed it on a table at centre ice.
"I want to thank each and every one of you for all of your support," Messier said. "This [franchise] is an institution in the world of sports."

Welcome Home Mark!