From the banners decorating MAPFRE Stadium to the players who continue to uphold his name, the legacy of Kirk Urso lives on.
Urso, who would have turned 29 years old today, was admired for his steadfast character both on and off the field. Following his passing on August 5, 2012 from an Arrhythmongenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy, the organization established the Kirk Urso Heart Award as a yearly Club honor for whomever best represents the attitude and character of Urso.
“It’s an honor to carry an award like that, a legacy like that,” Maloney said. “A man who had so many qualities that everyone enjoyed being around, and to carry that honor, it’s a legacy that will live on forever and ever, and I’m very honored to receive that award. I’ll carry it with a heavy heart and take it with me throughout my life and explain his story to everybody because everyone should hear that. It’s an inspiration to all and I’m very honored to have received the award last year.”
Williams, who played with Urso during the 2012 season after Urso was selected by Columbus in the first round (No.10 overall) of the 2012 Supplemental Draft, spoke about Urso’s character and what it means to help carry on his legacy.
“I think the award speaks for itself,” Williams said. “[Kirk was] someone, on the field, who brought that intensity and fighting spirit every day. Off the field, he was a great kid. Someone I got along with very well, so to win that [in 2017] and then to have that legacy carry on, just to be a part of that legacy is something I’ll cherish forever. It obviously means a lot not only to me, but to his family and the Crew organization, so to whoever wins it in the future here, it should mean a lot to you personally and for the organization.”
Following Urso’s passing at the age of the 22, the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund was established with the goal of continuing his legacy through a variety of charitable options. Information about the fund, as well as on how to donate, can be found below.