The Mississippi State football community was struck with tragedy last November.
Freshman defensive lineman Keith Joseph Jr. and his father, Keith Sr., died in a single-car accident on their way to watch his alma mater play a Friday night high school football game.
Now, nearly eight months later, the pain has resurfaced for some of Joseph’s Mississippi State teammates.
Joseph, who was born on July 1, 1997, would have celebrated his 19th birthday on Friday.
Current and former Bulldogs alike took to Twitter to wish their fallen teammate a Happy Birthday while referencing the phrase “Forever 99” in tribute to Joseph’s jersey number:
— Taveze Calhoun (@Calhoun__23) July 1, 2016
Happy Birthday To La Brudda ???? … You constantly on our mind and Going to always be with us .. Forever99 pic.twitter.com/3a4p5TuHKv
— JaⓂ️al Peters ® (@JamalPeters21) July 1, 2016
— Martinas Rankin™ (@MTRankin_57) July 1, 2016
Happy birthday to the boy?, not a day go by we don't think about you ..
– Forever99 pic.twitter.com/8i0WKyjgoM
— Leo Lewis III (@TheLeoLewis1_) July 1, 2016
Shortly after the accident in November, Mississippi State athletics director Scott Stricklin released an official statement mourning the loss:
“Words can’t express the sorrow we feel by having lost not one, but two members of the Bulldog family, father and son. I was a classmate of Keith Sr., and took pride in having Keith Jr. follow in his dad’s footsteps at MSU. They will both be missed greatly. It’s such a tragic reminder that life is a precious and every day is a gift from God.”