An auction of Coach Darrell K Royal’s sports memorabilia, personal collections and historic artifacts is happening this Sunday.
The event had been planned for months but takes on new meaning after the longtime University of Texas at Austin football coach died on Wednesday. He was 88 years-old.
For fans that no longer have the opportunity to meet Coach Royal, it’s a chance for them to find a certain closeness to him.
“Before this even happened, Edith, Coach Royal’s wife Edith Royal, who is of equal importance, made the statement that she hoped that Darrells’s fans would be the ones to own these things now. She’s cherished them for a lifetime. And that was her wish that Darrell’s fans would come out and be able to share the memories by owning a piece of that history that they created," Chris Featherston, co-owner of Austin Auction, says.
Hundreds of items are up for auction – including many that non-sports fans will appreciate.
"The Royals were not only sports people, they were people," Featherston says. "And they had friends that spanned from astronauts to presidents to famous country music stars. While we do have items that reflect those sports years, we also have items such as a Texas flag that was flown to the moon and actually carried on the moon by Charlie Duke just for Darrell Royal. We have signed photos of Lyndon Johnson. We have things that were given to them by Willie Nelson, who was a special friend of theirs."
Featherston says that in the days leading up to the auction, he has seen interest from UT fans but also people sporting University of Oklahoma and Texas A&M gear.
"The Royals touched a wide swath of people," Featherston says.
The auction is Sunday. Along with the DKR collection will be a collection from Austin designer and restaurateur Beau Theriot. A portion of the sales will go to the Darrell K Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer’s Disease –a disease that Royal suffered from.
"If you ever had the chance to meet or be around the Royals, you know how important they are to Texas and to Texas history. This is a chance for all of us to say goodbye in a positive way and celebrate the fact that they touched all of us in the way that they did," Featherston says.