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May 28, 2009

Richardson makes practice appearance

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson made a surprise appearance at the team's summer school practice Thursday morning. It was the first time in 10 months that Richardson has attended a practice and was his most public appearance since undergoing a heart transplant on February 1.

"It was great," said coach John Fox. "He looked great. He's getting stronger by the day. Everything's going well with the procedure he had. ... We're happy to see him."

The Panthers had an especially enthusiastic practice, which Fox attributed to the boost players got by Richardson's presence.

"We tease each other, but coaches were coaching harder and players were playing harder," said Fox. "There's no doubt that affects it."

Richardson arrived at the practice field shortly after 10 a.m. with close friend and former Bank of America chief Hugh McColl, who was driving Richardson's silver BMW SUV. They then boarded a golf cart, with Richardson driving, and watched practice for about 45 minutes.

Richardson smiled and greeted reporters before departing, thanking them for the notes of well wishes they'd sent him in recent months.

He smiled and looked well, albeit lighter than he was before his heart condition worsened last year.

Richardson hadn't attended a Panthers' practice since training camp in Spartanburg last July.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on May 28, 2009 at 12:03 PM | Permalink


Thank God for having the Big Cat back!

Posted by: PantherHead | May 28, 2009 12:42:44 PM

Best news I have heard in a long time!

Posted by: mike | May 28, 2009 12:44:33 PM

Yeah!! So glad to hear he's up and around!! He's my favorite team member!

Posted by: Andi | May 28, 2009 12:54:32 PM

go jerry, looking good my man..keep those panthers motivate with the thoguths of last year playoff loss. stay hungry panthers..

Posted by: teemac | May 28, 2009 1:00:03 PM

It actually brings a tear to my eye and give me goose bumps! Great news!!! GREAT - especially hearing how the team responded so well.

Posted by: Scott | May 28, 2009 1:03:12 PM

Great news. Good to see the big cat back.

Posted by: Chris | May 28, 2009 1:31:25 PM

Hey Julius - the big man is back, and it isn't you.....

Posted by: Phil | May 28, 2009 1:35:57 PM

Great news on Mr. Richardson being back.

Anybody needing reminding of how lucky the panthers are to have him should read the article entitled "The Franchise" from the Oct. 28, 1991 Sports Illustrated. It can be found in their online archives.

Posted by: CW | May 28, 2009 2:34:52 PM

Hopefully this means Jerry's recovery is going well and he'll be back at the stadium this fall.

Posted by: TP | May 28, 2009 3:00:42 PM

Good news indeed! Mr. Richardson is considered one of the best owners in the NFL. He is one of Roger Goodell right-hand men. And it is no shock that Mr. Richardson is one of the few owners working out a new CBA with the union.

Posted by: Wade | May 28, 2009 4:23:48 PM

Now, there is an example of the type of owner a professional sports team needs!

Welcome Back, MR Richardson!

Posted by: ManInCharlotte | May 28, 2009 5:38:13 PM

Yea man good news

Posted by: Me | May 28, 2009 6:55:47 PM

This is the type of news I like to hear! I hope that this year the Panthers can bring home a championship for the Big Cat. He's one of the best owners in the league, and Carolina loves him!

Keep getting stronger Richardson! We're all pulling for you!

Posted by: Revshawn | May 28, 2009 11:15:40 PM

Yeah Baby, Yeah !!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: nasty704 | May 29, 2009 5:57:27 PM

Mr. Richardson is a true hero and a great man. Keep feeling better BIG CAT!

Posted by: Panthers Super Fan | Jun 6, 2009 10:54:59 PM

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