Young fan meets player, gets souvenir after stadium run-in

Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — It’s common for football players to give away some of their gear as they head to the locker room after games.

Third grader B.J. West got a glove from a star player Saturday after the Eastern Michigan Eagles defeated the Fighting Illini. Before he could show his dad, an adult fan stole it from him.

His dad, Brian West, posted on Facebook to warn other parents about the possibility of this at games. One of the comments on his post was from Hayley Luttrell, the girlfriend of Illinois offensive lineman Vederian Lowe. She told Lowe, and the two reached out to help.

“As soon as I read it I said, ‘You need to go get something from the stadium, you need to bring it home now. We have to meet this little boy later,'” says Luttrell.

The two met Sunday after B.J. finished his own football game. Lowe had gotten B.J. a brand new pair of gloves and signed both of them. B.J.’s dad kept it a surprise from him until they showed up at Lowe’s apartment. He says it’s all thanks to Luttrell and Lowe.

“I really appreciate her,” says Brian West. “I sent her a message saying I really appreciate it for you guys to reach out because she didn’t have to do it.”

B.J. initially wanted to wear them in his own game, but the 6’5″ lineman’s hands are a little bit bigger than an eight-year old’s. He says the meeting was a dream come true.

“I was happy, shocked, and glad,” says B.J. West. “Cause I thought I would never get a glove from an Illini player but fortunately I got one.”

Both sides said they will continue to stay in touch. B.J. and his dad are currently planning on attending Saturday’s game against Nebraska to reunite with Lowe.

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