|Published:||Jan 25, 2014 7:58 PM EST|
|Updated:||Jan 26, 2014 12:09 AM EST|
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - He was known for his skill on the field, his kindness to others, and his dream to be in ESPN.
Three weeks after his death, Eddie Buggs' wish came true when video of his one-handed interception appeared online on ESPN's SportsNation.
Saturday, fans packed the bleachers at Storm Football Complex to fulfill Eddie's other dying wish, to be remembered at his home field.
His teammates on the Cape Youth Tornadoes took the field, minus their fallen brother, but all around were reminders.
"I'll just remember him as a great person, a top athlete," said Jalen Ellis, a teammate. Ellis and other players spoke to the crowd about how they will remember Eddie, at times they did so while choking back tears.
"He was strong and never gave up. He was always there for me and helped anyone who needed help," said Keeshaurn McCauley, another teammate.
Tiffany Buggs, Eddie's mother, also took to the podium on the field to thank supporters.
"We may not have gotten what we were praying for, what we thought what we were praying for, but Eddie's not sick anymore," she said.
His battle over, the team is retiring his jersey number, 20, and they are preserving his gear and the championship trophy won in his honor in a glass case in the Cape Youth Football Association board room.
"He was always a giver," said association president Todd Williams.
When asked what Eddie's final gift was, Williams said it was a message.
"Always fight for your dreams, no matter what you're going through. Any adversity is something you should always try to overcome," said Williams.