UK Football

UK to unveil statue Thursday to honor school’s first black football players

Former UK player Nate Northington, who was a pioneer in integrating the SEC, autographed a ball for a fan during UK Football Fan Day inside Nutter Field House in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, August 6, 2016.
Former UK player Nate Northington, who was a pioneer in integrating the SEC, autographed a ball for a fan during UK Football Fan Day inside Nutter Field House in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, August 6, 2016.

The University of Kentucky will unveil the new statue Thursday night honoring its pioneers of integration in Southeastern Conference football.

The ceremony, which gets underway at 7 p.m., is free to attend and open to the public. The unveiling will take place on the plaza between the UK football training facility and Gate 12 of Commonwealth Stadium.

The sculpture, created by J. Brett Grill, pays tribute to the first four black football players in UK history: Nate Northington, Greg Page, Wilbur Hackett and Houston Hogg.

Scheduled to speak are UK President Eli Capilouto, Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart and Northington.

“No four players in our program’s history have better demonstrated the values of courage, determination and selflessness than Nate, Greg, Wilbur and Houston,” Barnhart said in a news release. “The pride we take in calling them Kentucky Wildcats is matched only by our gratitude for what they have done for this university and for college football in the South. We are proud to show that appreciation with the dedication of this statue that will occupy a prominent place at the home of Kentucky football.”

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