PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When the North Hills High School football team takes the field, no fans are more enthusiastic than the man who has roamed those sidelines for more than 40 years.

David Thomas has Down Syndrome. But the 55-year-old Ross Township native knows his football.

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Cindy and Tom Richey of Laurel Gardens Tire Service have a Facebook page aimed at getting David into the North Hills Sports Hall of Fame.

As Cindy recalls, “He actually always says, when we go to the Hall of Fame game – they have a certain game where they recognize them – he always says ‘I’m going to go down there. I’m going to be in the Hall of Fame.'”

David is friends with just about every North hills team, including the cheerleaders.

“They welcome him down onto the field, you know,” Tom Richey says. “And it’s really nice to see.”

“Band practice, every night in the summer he’d be up there,” Cindy adds. “He thought he was really directing the band.”

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He’s even an honorary firefighter, smiling proudly from a photo on the firehouse wall. Tom and Cindy have collected a stack of petitions, urging that his name be added to the North Hills Hall of Fame.

When David still lived across the street from the tire store, Cindy or Tom would drive him to the game at Martarelli Stadium. Now he lives in an apartment complex in Green Tree. But nothing has really changed. It’s just a longer drive.

When David visits the shop, we ask him about his chances to make the Hall of Fame. His two-word answer: “Can’t wait!”

That’s confidence.

For more information, log onto his Facebook page.

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