ECU fan spreads passion for Pirates football

ECU FAN_96479

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – As he tailgates for Thursday night’s East Carolina University football game against nationally-ranked Temple, alumnus Mark Steele experiences emotions he just can’t describe.

“If i could bottle what’s inside of me that makes me passionate about East Carolina and give it to other individuals,” Steele said. “I would be a millionaire.”

What he does give is help and advocacy for people with disabilities.

“[I’m] trying to help people with disabilities get services that they need; to be more independent,” Steele said.

It’s important for him because he has a disability; he experienced a spinal cord injury just three months into his freshman year at ECU.

He tried climbing an old goal post in a field, but he fell and landed on his head.

“I went home and I went through rehab,” Steele said. “I went to a community college at home, but I always felt like I left something undone in Greenville. There was something that pulled me back to this place.”

It was a place he later returned to get a bachelor’s in social work and a master’s in rehabilitative counseling.

“[ECU] opened up a world to me,” he said.

It’s a world he’s no giving to his lifelong friend from home, Keith Clary.

“East Carolina gets in your blood even if you’re a casual fan like myself from Winston-Salem,” Clary said.

Steele said he’s not a “fairweather fan” and supports the Pirates football team despite their loss to Temple.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

LKQD Outstream

Trending Stories