Many years ago in my grammar school days, my brother, Tom, who was a few years behind me, was classmates with Greg Montgomery. This week, as that long-ago friendship came full circle, I was fortunate enough to speak with Greg’s sister Margot about the work she is doing in her brothers’ memory.
From that small school in Shrewsbury, Greg went on to have an incredible career in football. He played locally at Red Bank Regional (and is a member of their Hall of Fame,) college ball at Michigan State where he is on the “all-time team” and then was drafted into the NFL. In nine seasons, Montgomery led the NFL in yards per punt average three times, his longest being 77 yards while on the Houston Oilers. During that time he was All-Pro in the NFL.
There were so many highs and lows in Gregs colorful lifetime explained further by a bipolar diagnosis. Even with internal struggles, Greg was always thinking of how to help others and after retiring from the NFL, was an active coach and mentor to many young athletes. Unfortunately, during the dark days of Covid, the Montgomery family lost Greg to suicide.
Incredibly, his family has carried on Greg’s legacy in helping others and especially addressing the stigma attached to suicide and mental health issues. The work they are doing in “Uncle Gregs” name can be seen here on their website:
This week, for the first time, Margot will be at a local hockey game at the Armory in Red Bank where the teams from Red Bank Regional and Rumson Fair Haven will take to the ice wearing Greg’s logo on their helmets and “Stick It To Stigma” shirts will be available at the game.
Margot will be manning a table at the game and invites anyone and everyone to come out and support this vital mission.
The mental state of our young athletes is so important and Gregs foundation is giving them the tools to understand their needs and to access emotional support.
The hockey game is only one of many events the foundation does.
If you are a snowbird, you may want to grab your golf bag, tennis or pickleball racquet and head over to Naples Fl in April for the fun-filled 3rd annual Fore Love & Wellness Tourney.
The Gregory H. Montgomery Jr. Foundation originated because one spectacular man believed his life was no longer worth living, but in his life, Greg believed in UNITE and GENERATE- that together we can see the light in each other that is so hard to see in ourselves.
To help this amazing non-profit continue to spread that light, please consider donating. They need sponsors, silent auction items and your help to spread the word to “Stick it to Stigma”
Game Date: Wednesday, January 25th Starts:8:15pm
Location: Red Bank Armory, 76 Chestnut St, Red Bank NJ
Cover photo: The first football game when starting Greg’s fund by giving a $25,000 check to the principal and athletic director at RBR.