PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Eddie Buggs was the kind of moniker any play-by-play guy would love.
“Every time he made a great play they called him “Lightning Buggs” because he was so fast with the ball,” says Frankie Dodd, remembering his cousin.
At age 6, Eddie first set foot on a football field in Crafton. He started with the Carlynton Cougars in the Pop Warner League.
By age 9, Eddie put together his own highlight reel.
His family moved to the North Hills where Eddie played quarterback, running back and safety for the Youth Football League and the North Hills Warriors.
“He just wanted to be able to play football, sports, all sports,” said Dodd. “Every sport he played he was good at, straight A student.”
Then, two years ago, Eddie’s dad – Mike Knight, an Army recruiter – was stationed in Florida.
About the same time, Eddie was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Chemo sent it into remission and Eddie got out his cleats again.
But two months later, the cancer returned in Eddie’s spine.
Eddie died on Dec. 28, just days after his 13th birthday.
“I always imagined picking pictures for his graduation party, not for his funeral,” says his aunt, Samantha Sites.
His family and friends have taken up fulfilling a dream Eddie had all his short life.
Using the hashtag #GetEddieOnESPN, they launched a campaign on Facebook and Twitter.
“That was his dream, to be a professional sports player,” says his cousin, Tom Morrison. “And as with every professional sports player – that’s the dream – to be on ESPN.
A call to ESPN’s SportsCenter was the first they’d heard about the #GetEddieOnESPN campaign. They get a lot of requests, but who knows, Eddie has a lot of pull these days.