Alabama superfan Walt Gary has died at the age of 36, the football program confirmed on Friday.
Gary was known for attending Alabama football practices on Thursdays, where he would visit with players. He would also meet with Nick Saban each week during the season to give him a score prediction ahead of the coach's radio show. Gary started attending practices under coach Gene Stallings, who had a son with Down syndrome.
"Walt Gary was a special part of the Alabama football program and our hearts are broken by the news of his passing," Saban said in a statement. "He was beloved by everyone on our team, in our athletic department and throughout the Alabama family. Our thoughts go out to Walt's family, friends, and everyone who knew and loved Walt as much as we did."
Thursdays will never be the same.
Rest In Peace, Walt. pic.twitter.com/ipjxgkrnEn
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) June 7, 2019
The Tuscaloosa News reported that Gary died on Thursday after being in a coma at UAB Hospital.
ESPN profiled Gary in a 2018 video which explored his connection with the Crimson Tide football program and his weekly meetings with Saban. Gary was also featured in a 2017 Southern Living story.
— ESPN (@espn) November 24, 2018
Several current and former Alabama football players paid tribute to Gary on social media.
Incredibly saddened by the news of the passing of our friend Walt Gary. Nobody loved the Alabama football team more than he did. His spirit will forever live on through the program! Seeing him before every game was nothing but motivation! Love and prayers to his entire family❤️ pic.twitter.com/rSRETuL1nm
Damn RIP Walt gonna miss yah on them Thursday’s man 😞🙏🏾 https://t.co/DqDN1GXFcf
— JJ⁴ (@jerryjeudy) June 7, 2019
You were a joy to be around every day brother. You’re now forever apart of a even BETTER TEAM with the best coach in the world. REST IN HEAVEN WALT. Roll Tide buddy! 🙌🏾🐘 https://t.co/R8vQWeew0M
Heartbroken to hear of Walt’s passing. Every Thursday, I looked forward to seeing him as we left the facility and always enjoyed his predictions. His joy and spirit were contagious. We will miss you, Walt. #RIPWalt #RollTideWalt https://t.co/9uiswVJuMv
— Greg McElroy (@GregMcElroy) June 7, 2019
Heartbroken by the passing of our good buddy Walt Gary! It was always a great joy seeing him every Thursday! Walt was a light in this world, always made you smile and was truly Alabama’s biggest fan. Praying for his sweet mother Betsy and their family! You will be missed Walt! 💔 pic.twitter.com/rNw9YtEh8d
Gonna miss Walt ! This was my guy since day one. I was always the best TE in America in his eyes. Love you brotha RIP🙏🏽 https://t.co/OnrI3TkJxz
— OJ Howard 80 ™ (@TheRealOjHoward) June 7, 2019
RIP Walt Gary what an amazing soul , one person can really@make you appreciate life continue to be joyful and rest easy 🙏🏾
— jarran reed (@1j_reed) June 7, 2019