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Two years later, Richard Collier plans to walk again

In September of 2008, Jaguars offensive tackle Richard Collier was shot and critically wounded, ending his playing career and nearly ending his life.

More than two years later, Collier, who was paralyzed and had one leg amputated, still spends most of his time in a wheelchair. But his rehabilitation has progressed to the point that he can stand with the help of a prosthetic leg and a brace. And he did stand for an extended period of time recently, at his wedding.

“I plan on walking again,” Collier told FanHouse. “I really do. I don’t doubt myself, I don’t put limits on myself. I wake up every day and I smile and I laugh because I’m alive. They have told me I would never walk again, but, man, I stood at my wedding the entire time. I really wanted to stand tall at my wedding, to show people this is what I’ve been doing for the last year and a half. And I got to kiss my wife standing up.”

Collier says he has forgiven Tyrone Hartsfield, the man who is serving life in prison for the shooting. But he also says his anger at Hartsfield motivated him to work hard at rehabbing his badly injured body.

“That anger I felt then motivated me,” Collier said. “I didn’t want to be seen on TV as a guy looking down or being sad. I would not give anyone that power over me to let him think he defeated me.”

Collier still attends some Jaguars games, but he says he’s happy to have moved on with his life.

“I will always cherish those football memories,” Collier said, “but I don’t miss football, I really don’t.”

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4 Responses to “Two years later, Richard Collier plans to walk again”
  1. jlb10 says: Nov 16, 2010 12:44 PM

    Great for you Richard! I hope you do walk again some day. Sad story but sounds as if Richard will make his own happy ending.

  2. dallasbaby says: Nov 16, 2010 1:07 PM

    I remember reading about this when it happened. Very tragic but I wish him all the best and hope he will walk again.

  3. medialovesthecowboys says: Nov 16, 2010 1:22 PM

    Good story. You wonder if this happened to an idiot like Braylon Edwards if he would be able to respond so positively. One thing I took from that FanHouse article. Collier is often visited by his Valdosta State and Jaguar teammates. That alone tells you how much of a high-character guy someone really was.

  4. polegojim says: Nov 16, 2010 2:36 PM

    Keep up the fight and struggle.

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