UK Men's Basketball

UK fan paralyzed in 2013 fall at Rupp Arena has died

Dick Gregory, right, got a visit at the hospital on Nov. 5, 2013, from Kentucky Coach John Calipari, second from left, and his Cats. “He was buoyed,” son Scott, left, said of his dad. Gregory’s wife, Mary Alice, also was at his bedside. Gregory was severely injured in a fall at Rupp Arena the Friday before.
Dick Gregory, right, got a visit at the hospital on Nov. 5, 2013, from Kentucky Coach John Calipari, second from left, and his Cats. “He was buoyed,” son Scott, left, said of his dad. Gregory’s wife, Mary Alice, also was at his bedside. Gregory was severely injured in a fall at Rupp Arena the Friday before. Photo provided

Dickie Gregory, the Kentucky basketball fan who was partially paralyzed in a fall at Rupp Arena in 2013, has died.

According to a report by WKYT, Gregory passed away Monday.

Gregory, a retired welder and factory worker who lived in Louisville, broke three bones in his neck when he tumbled down seven rows of bleachers in the upper deck of Rupp Arena, his son Scott told the Herald-Leader after the accident.

4b583766-0c2a-4f6e-9f9d-b0809d9b27ce
Dickie Gregory

Gregory and his wife, Mary Alice, were attending UK’s exhibition game against Transylvania. Gregory lost his balance trying to brace Mary Alice when she tripped and fell to her knees as they made their way to their seats.

Many fans who were there rushed to help. Before an emergency medical team arrived, doctors who happened to be in the stands nearby performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation and inserted a breathing tube.

UK Coach John Calipari and his players visited Gregory the Tuesday after the accident, the same day Gregory learned the fall had left him paralyzed from the chest down.

“It changed everything,” Scott said of the visit. “He was kind of depressed.”

Calipari prayed with Gregory, who also spoke with the players. Gregory described the visit as “pretty amazing.” The UK coach delivered a message of hope.

“He told me he’d be taking Communion every day this week and mentioning my name,” Gregory said. “It meant the world.”

Gregory’s family said he had been in four different hospitals and a nursing home since the injury, according to WKYT.

Visitation will be Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. at Arch L. Heady Resthaven in Louisville. The funeral will be 10 a.m. Saturday.

  Comments