Sources: Oliver in critical condition
HUNTINGTON - As one of Marshall’s most recognizable players in history was being inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday, another of its prestigious players was battling for his life.
According to sources, Reggie Oliver, former quarterback for the Young Thundering Herd of 1971, suffered a head injury this weekend as the result of a fall and underwent a procedure to relieve swelling following the fall.
According to a Facebook post by David Walsh, Oliver’s former roommate and teammate with the Herd and longtime sports reporter for The Herald-Dispatch, Oliver is in intensive care at a hospital in Huntsville, Ala., where he is in critical condition.
As word spread of Oliver’s injuries, former Marshall players and fans alike flooded social media with well-wishes for a man who has kept Marshall at the center of his being since playing for the Herd during the toughest time in program history.
“Herd Nation, please join me in a word of prayer for our beloved Reggie Oliver...,” Michael Payton penned in a Facebook post. “I understand he’s in ICU and the next 48 hours are critical.”
In April, Oliver spoke at the annual turning on of the Marshall Memorial Fountain, which occurs before the Green-White Game each year to honor those lost in the 1970 Marshall plane crash, which killed 75 persons aboard Southern Airways Flight 932.
Following that crash, Oliver helped lead the 1971 team as they rebuilt from the crash - a team that was dubbed as the Young Thundering Herd.
On Sept. 25, 1971, Oliver became a legend in Marshall football history when he tossed a screen pass to Terry Gardner, who scored on the game’s final play to give Marshall a 15-13 win over Xavier - its first win since the plane crash.
Oliver was a large depiction in the movie “We Are...Marshall,” which Warner Bros. depicted and released in 2006.
The 66-year-old is a native of Tuscaloosa, Ala.