Sky Blue FC will have a special guest for its next match as former Rutgers University defensive tackle Eric LeGrand will serve as honorary captain when the team meets Houston Dash Saturday. Kickoff is 4 p.m.
“It is an honor to be the honorary captain for the Sky Blue FC women’s soccer team,” said LeGrand. “I have been a fan of the game for a long time, and I am proud to represent New Jersey with them.”
LeGrand has been a regular attendant at Sky Blue FC home matches, and the team will be reciprocating that support at his 7th Annual A Walk to Believe 5K Run and Fun Walk on Sunday, June 4, at High Point Solutions Stadium at Rutgers University.
In addition, Team LeGrand of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation was established in 2013, with proceeds going towards research to find a cure for paralysis and helping to improve the quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries.
A native of Avenel, N.J., LeGrand attended Rutgers University, where he was a key member of the school’s football team. On Oct. 16, 2010, LeGrand was running downfield on the kickoff team and a collision with the ball carrier rendered him motionless on the field. After being rushed to the hospital, LeGrand learned that he had suffered a spinal cord injury, and he was paralyzed from the neck down.
By January of 2011, he was already breathing completely on his own, and he had also regained movement in his shoulders and sensation throughout his body. Aggressively pushing through his physical rehabilitation, he vowed to walk again and has since developed numerous philanthropic initiatives to raise funds for spinal cord injury research.
“We are very proud to have such a supportive relationship with Eric LeGrand and his foundation,” said Christy Holly, Sky Blue FC head coach. “As we aspire to become a strong representative of New Jersey, Eric LeGrand exemplifies everything that makes people from New Jersey proud to call this state home.”