HOOVER, Ala. – Kentucky football fans on Tuesday got a sneak peek at the design of a statue to honor four former Wildcats who helped integrate the SEC in the late 1960s. The 2016 UK team poster was modeled after that statue, which will be unveiled in front of a new practice facility on Sept. 22.
The poster, honoring Nate Northington, Greg Page, Wilbur Hackett and Houston Hogg, was revealed to the team during a special meeting last Thursday and to the public Tuesday. Northington, the first black player in the SEC in 1967, and Hackett, the first black captain in league history, were in attendance when the poster was unveiled.
“When you watch the game today and you come here and look and see the diversity, I never would have thought this would happen at UK or much less the SEC,” Northington told the team.
“We’re very, very proud we were able to do that for the state, for ourselves, for our family. We’re very proud of you all, very proud of this university, because you are part of history. You are part of the university that made a stand and made a difference in the culture of the state, the South and the country.”
The poster, featuring the slogan “Make a Stand,” will be available to the public at Kroger stores around the state beginning on July 16. It comes on the 50th anniversary of Northington and Page enrolling at UK in 1966.
“I’m so proud to be a part of this,” Hackett told the team. “Fifty years ago, we came here, and this year I want to see you guys make a difference. Make that commitment to change what is happening. Make this team be the team that changed the course of Kentucky football.”
The current Wildcats are entering Year 4 under coach Mark Stoops, coming off back-to-back 5-7 seasons and trying to reach a bowl game for the first time since 2010.
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