Lockwood’s fight with cancer comes to an end

By Adam Silverstein
January 29, 2011

If you look at the Florida Gators player roster or ledger of support staff, you will not find the name Ian Lockwood. Check the history books and box scores and you will come up empty. But in head coach Urban Meyer and senior safety Ahmad Black’s final season with the team, Lockwood stood as an inspirational figure who the Gators rallied behind.

With the season now over, the 2011 Outback Bowl game ball (the one Black intercepted to seal the game) in his possession and cancer haven taking over his body, Lockwood passed away Friday evening at the all too young age of 18.

A patient at Shands Hospital in Gainesville FL, Lockwood was receiving treatments for brain cancer and underwent a second procedure shortly before the Outback Bowl. He was a passionate high school football player who had to stop playing suddenly on Oct. 8 due to an aggressive brain cancer that doctors tried to thwart and Lockwood himself attempted to fight to the best of his ability.

That fight ended Friday, a day his family, friends and extended University of Florida family prayed would never come. Survived by his mother, father and sister, Lockwood spent the last few months of his life cheering on Florida and hoping the team would find success in what was otherwise a down season.

“The young man, his love and passion for football is second-to-none,” Meyer said during his Outback Bowl press conference. “We became very good friends. He had football taken away from him. He’s been with our team a bunch; we spent a lot of time together.”

Black, who befriended Lockwood while visiting Shands, immediately became enthralled with his fight and passion and was touched by his perseverance. “I love the fight he has. A lot of people would have given up, but he’s still fighting,” Black told the Pensacola News Journal earlier this week.

“RIP Ian Lockwood. He was a great brother, friend and son,” Black wrote via his Twitter account Friday evening. “I’ll forever miss u bro and I thank god that u impacted my life.”

Lockwood, given a chance to speak when he was handed the game ball, was thankful for the honor and support that Florida showed him in his time of greatest need.

“This means a lot to me. Coming into Shands for treatments, [they were] always there from the beginning,” he said. “Football is definitely life to me. It is good to always have an organization there for you to support you whenever you need it.”

OGGOA sends our deepest condolences to the Lockwood family.

11 Comments

  1. Gatorbuc15 says:

    R.I.P. Ian Lockwood

  2. Payne Walker says:

    Ian was a great inspiration here in Navarre. He brought our community together and taught us all to livestrong. RIP Ian

  3. Cathy Harper says:

    May you be looking upon the face of Jesus. What a beautiful sight.

  4. GatorsFanLA says:

    this is terrible. I really hope humankind finds a cure for cancer real soon.

  5. ken says:

    unfortunately, having experienced it myself with my mother, it was inevitable. How proud I am of the team and Aahmad Black of befriending him, and making his last months really special.

  6. Daniel M. says:

    Rest in peace young man. You fought a brave battle. Your struggle will not be forgotten as you are an example of bravery that thousands of young men will gather strength from.

  7. SaraGator says:

    RIP, Ian. He was a great Gator and was truly loved.

  8. Gatorgrad79 says:

    My prayers go out to his family….

  9. Basshole says:

    Thoughts and prayers go out to those close to Ian.

  10. DGLgatorfan says:

    R.I.P. Ian

  11. FLA_GATORZ says:

    My condolences to his family…God bless them and give them peace/comfort

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