Save the Marshall Football Memorial
Almost 50 years ago, Marshall University lost most of its football team in a tragic plane crash. A fraternity on campus erected a Memorial to honor their fraternity brothers that died in the crash. That statue is slated for demolition and we'd like to save this piece of history.
The sculpture of a crouching football player sits atop a brick base inlaid with marble plaques etched with the names of the players Jimo Adams, Mike Blake, Pat Norrell, Bob Patterson and Ted Shoebridge. The football player represented “ an abstraction” of the fraternity members sorrow.Newspaper Article from the Original Dedication:
Vernon Howell, now a noted West Virginia artist, designed and created the sculpture as part of a class he took at Marshall while getting his master’s degree. The fraternity brothers built the base of the memorial and asked Mr. Howell if he would donate his sculpture. Mr. Howell was a co-captain of the Marshall Football team in 1958 and he lost several close friends in the crash. He was honored to donate his artwork.West Virginia Artist Vernon Howell:
During a recent visit to the Marshall campus, Robin Howell and Jennifer Howell Pierson, daughters of Mr. Howell, discovered that the fraternity had been disbanded and the property put up for sale. When they learned that the fraternity did not have plans for the memorial when the property sells, they immediately began planning to rescue it. They felt that it is too important to the Marshall Community to be forgotten, and saving it will properly honor the fallen players and also honor their father in the process.
They would like to complete the restoration and relocation in time to rededicate the statue for the 50th anniversary of the crash in November 2020.Robin Howell and Jennifer Howell Pierson
WV artist Michael Sizemore of Mountain Artworks Studio in Athens, WV will do the sculpture restoration. See his work here: Mountain Artworks Studio Facebook
. He is a talented metal works sculptor associated with the Tamarack Foundation for the Arts. The job will require delicate sandblasting, reinforcing the current structure and powder-coating so that it never has to be repainted. He will restore the statue to the original design from the initial dedication. We are very excited to have Mike as part of our team.Mike "Goose" Sizemore:
We still need to find a site to relocate the statue and would like to keep it as part of the Marshall University Campus. We are also searching for a WV mason who can save the marble plaques and reconstruct the statue at a new location. Please contact us if you have recommendations.
The funds will be used to pay the artist to insure, transport, repair and refurbish the sculpture; and to pay a mason to deconstruct the base, saving the original marble name-plates, and rebuild the base in a new location. Any excess funds will be donated to a Marshall Charity, to be named at a later date.
Help us save this iconic football sculpture memorial. Let us never forget. We appreciate any and all help with this project!WE ARE……. MARSHALL.