83-Year-Old Tatum Superfan Bleeds Green And White - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/14/06-Tatum

83-Year-Old Tatum Superfan Bleeds Green And White

There is one place you can find 83-year-old LeRoy Palmer every Friday night: on the football field for the Tatum Eagles.

"I'm on the tunnel crew," LeRoy explained, "so, we've got to make it to put that tunnel up so the boys can come through."

This superfan was dubbed just that by Dave Campbell's Texas Football earlier this year. Since 1964, LeRoy has attended close to 500 Eagle games.

He has collected enough memorabilia to build a museum to his beloved Eagles, remembering the Eagle greats he watched over the years.

"This is Larry Centers, here," he said pointing to one of his photos, "and this is Larry Horton over here."

Leroy's love for the Eagles is not a hometown obsession. He moved to Tatum in the 1960's.

"I was born and raised in northwest Kansas."

When LeRoy's oldest son joined the team, and his youngest son became a waterboy, LeRoy was hooked. As a true fan he has stuck it out for the eagles.

He recalled one game in 1969. "It rained and it rained and rained and the cold and the wind was blowing. When the ballgame was over with, the county commissioner and my wife and I were the only ones in the stands. The rest of them were all gone."

He also remembers the 82 point Tatum loss to White Oak, somehow still finding a bright spot. 

"When we scored against White Oak that time, it was like winning the World Series. We were the eighth team they played that year and they had not been scored against."

Of course he was there for the biggest game of all, the state championship win in 2005.
It was first championship in Eagle football history.

"I just stood there in awe," he said.  "I couldn't hardly believe it. We had come so far."

What LeRoy believes now is that his Eagles can win their second straight championship on Saturday.

When asked if there was a bigger Tatum Eagle fan than himself, with a laugh he said, "I don't know who he is."

LeRoy will be there for the Eagles final game of the 2006 season, the Class 2A, Division I Championship game against Littlefield.
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