They say that time heals all wounds. But, those that knew and loved ‘Lil’ Tony Webster would disagree.
“Time — it hasn’t helped,” said ‘Lil’ Tony’s father, Tony Webster. “I think of that young man every time, every second, every minute.”
“It isn’t going to get easier,” admitted friend and Graham quarterback Devin Lester. “It’s always on my mind.”
That’s why on the fifth day of every month, those that loved ‘Lil’ Tony gather at the Bluefield City Park to release balloons in his honor. The fifth day symbolizes the number five that he wore on his football jersey.
“It means a lot to know that the community has not forgotten ‘Lil Tony, which we’re never going to forget,” Webster said. “It’s emotional, but it’s great to know the legacy that he’s left behind and that it will never be forgotten.”
“It’s very special,” said friend and teammate Sean Martin. “I go to visit him at his grave a lot. I don’t really think about it because I don’t like crying that much.”
‘Lil’ Tony’s impact was felt throughout the community, but it was certainly evident on the football field. With the 2019 season less than two months away, players from both Bluefield and Graham plan on honoring their fallen friend on the gridiron.
“I’m gonna be wearing number five this year,” Lester said.
“We’re gonna be going hard for him,” promised friend and teammate Jahiem House. “We’re trying to get another ring. I know that he’d be right here with us trying to get it. So, we’re gonna be going hard every minute, every second.”
The balloon release will continue next month on Monday, August 5th at 5 p.m.