The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

July 18, 2014

Legends Dinner set for July 25

BECKLEY — Once a year, some of southern West Virginia’s biggest names get together.

Like knights around King Arthur’s roundtable, these living legends gather, bringing with them tales of days gone by and many, many championships.

These men are figures almost larger than life. While they may be known by names like Dave Barksdale, Don Nuckols, Herbie Brooks, Bob Pruett and Lonnie “Sam” Warwick, they are united by the only name they need — legends.

The sixth annual Sports Legends Dinner will be held at the Beckley Moose Club on Friday, June 25.

Last year’s event saw more than 95 living legends from all over southern West Virginia gather together, to relive old memories and tell tales of their glory days.

Legends from Woodrow Wilson, Shady Spring, Mullens, Oceana, Stoco, Marsh Fork and a host of other schools will gather at the Moose.

The event was first a dream of the legendary Jack Lilly, who wanted to gather as many people together as he could.

“We got together and said we need to make these things regular before they become funerals,” Lilly told The Register-Herald at last year’s event.

The 2013 dinner was highlighted by an appearance from West Virginia basketball legend Willie Akers, who was only six months removed from a terrible accident, that left doctors wondering if he would ever walk again.

The 76-year old Akers fractured his C6 cervical vertebra and broke his nose when he fell during a middle school basketball game at the Charleston Civic Center. After 90 days in the hospital, Akers returned to his Logan County home for recovery.

When the former Mullens standout and legendary Logan coach appeared at the dinner, he was able to stand and walk using a walker. He received a standing ovation from the legends in attendance.

This year’s event will feature a special tribute to its founder, Lilly, who has fallen ill and cannot attend the event.

Any sports legend who has attended any of the past events will have a name tag awaiting them at the dining hall entrance. For those who haven’t attended the event before, a name tag will be given to them.

The dinner will kick-off at 6 p.m.

— E-mail: jrollins@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter at @JDanielRollins

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