Longhorns fan uses Twitter to return ‘dream piece’ of memorabilia to former UT player’s family

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FILE PHOTO: Texas Longhorns helmet

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A fan reunited a sentimental piece of memorabilia to a Texas Longhorns family on Thursday, and he did it using the positive power of social media.

Several weeks ago, Wes Laurel (Twitter handle @Wes1416) sent out a tweet to Longhorns nation, asking for help after he purchased a helmet that he called a “dream piece” of his Texas Football memorabilia collection. However, after looking over the helmet, he was “99% sure” the helmet belonged to former Longhorns offensive lineman Paden Kelley.

Kelley was part of the Longhorns football program in 2010 and 2011 after a standout high school career at Lake Travis High School. Kelley died in March 2019 at the age of 28.

After Laurel realized it was Kelley’s helmet, he wrote in a tweet he was hoping to return the piece to the Kelley family and wanted to “see if Twitter could do its thing” to find Kelley’s family.

Word of Laurel’s search even reached Longhorns Athletics Director Chris Del Conte. In a tweet, Del Conte said he would pass along the request to the Longhorns’ equipment staff.

On Thursday, a little over two weeks after the original post, Laurel was able to return the helmet to the Kelley family, sharing photos of he and Kelley’s sister in front of Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium.

“At the stadium that means so much to me, at the same stadium Paden Kelley gave his all for Texas, I gave his helmet back to who it belonged to, his family,” Laurel wrote in his tweet.

He also thanked the Kelley family for allowing him to spend a little time with their loved one. Way to go, TexWes!

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