Panthers owner Jerry Richardson attends funeral of fan he never - | WBTV Charlotte

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson attends funeral of fan he never met

Rognon (left) and Richardson. Rognon (left) and Richardson.

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Panther's owner Jerry Richardson attended a long-time season ticket owner's funeral last week – but Richardson had never met the man, Sports Illustrated reports.

 The man, 71-year-old R. Bruce Rognon of Pinehurst collapsed and died of a heart attack while walking to his car after the Panthers lost at home to Atlanta on Dec. 11, the magazine reported.

Rognon's memorial service was this past Saturday in Pinehurst and Richardson drove from Charlotte to the sandhills for the service – despite not knowing Rognon, Sports Illustrated reported.

"He [Rognon] never missed a game,'' Richardson told Sports Illustrated. "The least I could do was go to the service and pay my respects. These fans are amazing."

Rognon's obituary said he lived in California until he and his wife moved to Pinehurst 18 years ago.

Rognon was an avid sports fan, "including a devoted Duke Basketball and Carolina Panthers fan," his obituary said.

"(The fans) do more than invest their money. They invest their time and emotion, and they buy into your team. It is such a sad thing for the family," Richardson told Sports Illustrated.

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