Alabama fans honor Bear Bryant on his 100th birthday - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Alabama fans honor Bear Bryant on his 100th birthday

Alabama fans left Coca Cola bottles, shakers and other Alabama memorabilia on Coach Bear Bryant's grave today. Source: Alan Collins/WBRC Alabama fans left Coca Cola bottles, shakers and other Alabama memorabilia on Coach Bear Bryant's grave today. Source: Alan Collins/WBRC
Alabama football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant would have turned 100 today. Source: WBRC video Alabama football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant would have turned 100 today. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Today is a special day for Alabama football fans. September 11 is former Alabama football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's birthday. Bryant would have been 100 years old today.

Every year on Sept. 11 Nora Gilchrist comes to Elmwood Cemetery in Birmingham to plant a shaker at Bryant's grave.

"Just the wonderful memories we've been blessed with. We used to go to the games. I told my daughter to keep your binoculars on him standing at the goalpost. We are not always going to have him," Gilchrist said.

Bryant died in 1983 and was buried at Elmood Cemetery. Alabama fans regularly leave Coca Cola bottles, red flowers and even some change which Bryant used to jingle in his pocket.

"We've had a lot of phone calls. People asking where is Bear Bryant buried. Taking a pilgrimage out to his burial site to pay tribute to a wonderful man," Johnathan Wheatley with Elmwood Cemetery said.

Jamie Little wasn't even born when Bryant died. Still, every year she feels the need to come to Elmwood on Bryant's birthday.

"Every year I come out here and pay homage and say thanks for keeping the program strong." Little said.

In 1978, the Birmingham Touchdown Club surprised Bryant for his 65th birthday with 200 former players and friends. Jake Reiss, the past president of the Touchdown Club said tonight at 7 p.m. the club will premier a documentary entitled "Mama Called" as part of a celebration for Bryant's 100th birthday.

Former player John Hannah and Bryant's grandson Mark Tyson will attend the event at the DoubleTree Hotel in Birmingham.

"We may have forgotten Amos Alonzo Stagg and other great names from the past but in this part of the country I don't believe the name Bear Bryant will ever be forgotten," Reiss said.

For more information on tonight's event, click here.

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