LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - As football season approaches, one of Lawton's biggest celebrities will, unfortunately, be missing at the stadium.
Raymond McAlister is known and loved across Lawton, but recently he's found himself at the McMahon Tomlinson Nursing and Rehabilitation Center as he heals from injuries to his feet.
Raymond is well-known across Lawton, being a regular at football games and events like the rodeo, but he missed the rodeo this year because of his injuries and said he won't be able to make it to any football games.
Raymond is in great spirits and said he is really enjoying his time at the rehabilitation center. But he said he is upset he won't be able to make any games this year and hopes people will continue to pray for a speedy recovery.
Raymond was originally taken to the hospital with injuries to his feet but don't worry, he said he's well on the way to recovery
"I'm doing fine right now, I mean I'm doing really fine. Thank you for asking," Raymond.
Raymond said he has been doing exercises recently and hopes he will be back out in the community in no time.
"I'm going to work on my feet, get my power back in my feet. I hope I can, that's my hope," Raymond said.
If you've been to the rodeo, any high school football or basketball game in Lawton or the racetrack, it's almost certain you've seen Raymond. C.H Brazzel has known Raymond ever since he walked up to him at the Lawton High vs. Eisenhower football game in 1978.
"He introduced himself, hi I'm Raymond and I want to come see you," Brazzel said. "The following Monday he came to the police department and he began to check in with us every day. I think the first thing he did when he checked in at the police department was borrow a telephone to make a call to somebody."
Brazzel said that's who Raymond is, someone who is involved in the community and wants to talk to everyone.
"The guy is pretty involved in the community and he's just part of it. I often tell him if he dies I'll have to speak at his funeral but he always tells me he doesn't have time to die, he's got too much to do. So it's just remarkable the public and community that have supported him and been concerned about him recently and over the past few years," Brazzel said.
Brazzel said Raymond is well on his way to recovery.
"He's better and better, he'll get better, he may be back on the bicycle in a couple of weeks, a couple of months," Brazzel said.
Raymond said he is thankful for all of the support he's received but, in the meantime, he said there is one thing that everyone at home can do to help.
"Thank you for the prayers, I need all the prayers in the world," Raymond said.
Raymond will be at the McMahon Tomlinson Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for the next few months. He'll then be re-evaluated to see if he can return to his home or if he'll have to stay at the nursing and rehabilitation center.