It may have been almost 70 years since World War II veteran Brian Sperry played football on a college campus, but the 89-year-old made the most of his opportunity during this weekend's alumni scrimmage at the University of Kansas.
During Saturday's intrasquad football game at Memorial Stadium, Sperry caught a lateral pass, evaded the playful attempted tackles of younger former Kansas Jayhawks and ran the ball all the way for a touchdown. In the end zone, players hugged and congratulated Sperry, who smiled.
“That was fun,” the Pittsburg, Kansas, resident told the Kansas City Star. “I didn’t know if I could run.”
According to the Star, Sperry began playing college football at Kansas State at age 17, but left two years later to serve in World War II, including the pivotal Battle of the Bulge. He returned home and finished his college football days at the University of Kansas. During the last of his three seasons there, he played alongside his brother, Kenneth, and caught a pass at the 1948 Orange Bowl, the newspaper reported.
Posted Saturday to Kansas Athletics' YouTube page, a video of Sperry's special touchdown had collected nearly 100,000 views as of Tuesday evening.
One of many to celebrate Sperry's touchdown run in the YouTube comments section was user MLee Sperry, who wrote that Sperry is her father.
"As you can see from his face, he loves KU and he loves football," she wrote. "It was a great day for him and our family."
That wasn't the only heartwarming moment from this weekend's exhibition college football games. Leah Still, the 4-year-old daughter of Cincinnati Bengals player Devon Still, celebrated her cancer-free status with a 45-yard touchdown run at Temple University's spring game.
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