Tide nation remembers the Crimson Kid - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Tide nation remembers the Crimson Kid

Mikey Crossley shows his Bama pride with his baseball cap. Source: Family photo Mikey Crossley shows his Bama pride with his baseball cap. Source: Family photo
Mikey lost his battle with an inoperable brain tumor on September 12, 2012. Mikey lost his battle with an inoperable brain tumor on September 12, 2012.
Mikey's mom Creci Anglin and his stepfather Terry Anglin say Mikey's favorite number was three, the jersey worn by Alabama player Vinnie Sunseri. Source: WBRC video Mikey's mom Creci Anglin and his stepfather Terry Anglin say Mikey's favorite number was three, the jersey worn by Alabama player Vinnie Sunseri. Source: WBRC video
An anonymous Alabama fan posted a billboard in Mikey's honor. Source: WBRC video An anonymous Alabama fan posted a billboard in Mikey's honor. Source: WBRC video
Creci Anglin says she believes Mikey was chosen for a greater purpose, to spread awareness about the disease that took his life. Source: WBRC video Creci Anglin says she believes Mikey was chosen for a greater purpose, to spread awareness about the disease that took his life. Source: WBRC video

He was only five years old, but he was one of America's most devoted Crimson Tide football fans.

So passionate was Michael Crossley that his favorite color was crimson and least favorite color was orange. Not only did Michael love the Tide, but the Tide loved him back.

"He knew the number three, that was his favorite number," his stepfather Terry Anglin said.

"So he knew the three- he didn't know Vinnie [Sunseri] by name, but he knew that's the number three, he would always yell for him to get the ball and score a touchdown."

Ten months ago, life was good for Terry and Creci Anglin. Mikey was enjoying kindergarten and the Crimson Tide. Terry and Creci were doing well at work .

"Everything started to finally click. And then it just crashed down around me," Mikey's mother, Creci, said.

Mikey was having trouble keeping his balance, he was seeing double. The family went to Vanderbilt Hospital to get Mikey checked out.

"They saw a mass in his brain but couldn't tell me exactly what it was," Creci said.

It turned out to be a rare DIPG inoperable brain tumor with a mortality rate of 100 percent. Mikey was given a one to two year prognosis, and died after nine months.

"Mikey was a fighter. He told us all the time after he got sick, he would just randomly look at me and say, 'Momma, I never give up Momma,'" Creci recalled.

Something downright inspirational began during Mikey's fight: the Alabama nation fought alongside him. Support came from around the world: billboards were displayed by anonymous fans, a courtyard at his school would soon be built in his honor. And in Mikey's final hours, the phone calls from the Alabama football office began.

Lying in the hospital bed next to their dying son, the Anglins were hearing from players Mikey loved but never met.

"I just thought it was really important for us to wrap our arms around them and support them and show them we love them," Bama center Barrett Jones said.

Alabama snapper Carson Tinker also called to share his support.

"I don't have any idea what they are going through or what they went through, but I felt the pain they felt, and God gave me peace through that," Tinker said.

"People reached out to me when I had to go through what I had to go through, and I remember how that made me feel and how encouraging that was for people to reach out to me, and I wanted to be able to do that," Tinker added.

When Coach Nick Saban called, Mikey, although his time was short, knew exactly who was on the phone.

"As soon as I got off the phone I said . 'Mikey, Mr. Saban called, and he told me to tell you that you need to talk to him, OK?' His vitals rose up real high. I said OK, I know you can hear me," Creci said.

"We knew he could still hear us, he just didn't have a way to responding to us."

On September 12, one month shy of his sixth birthday, Mikey left us. But the Crimson Tide will never forget the Crimson Kid.

"He was such a pure soul, he was chosen for a greater purpose to get the awareness out about this disease," his mom said.

"God kept him around just long enough to get his name out there, I believe, and get Alabama behind us and get support, and then God said 'OK it's time for you to go- you don't need to suffer anymore,'" she said.

Mikey was buried in his number three Alabama jersey. Tide player Vinnie Sunseri has dedicated this year's season to him.

If you would like to give to the Mikey Crossley fund, send donations to:

The Roll for Mikey Trust Fund

c/o Michael James Crossley

211 Alder Branch Court

Madison, AL 35757

Copyright 2012 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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