CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Fans are still reeling from the shocking announcement that Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is retiring.
Kuechly has called Carolina home for eight years, getting results in our community from the start. Fans have a lot of personal stories about Kuechly for his actions off the field.
Digging through the FOX 46 archives, Wednesday, we also found plenty of examples of how Kuechly impacted fans across the Carolinas. ‘
Spending time with kids as part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, volunteering his time at a local food pantry, appearing at ‘Kicking it with Cam’ and signing autographs at a benefit for six-year-old battling leukemia in 2018, Kuechly has cemented his legacy as a fan favorite.
His retirement announcement, hitting fans hard like the linebacker he is.
"Shocked really, I wasn't expecting it,” Chuck Leland told FOX 46.
Chuck Leland has been a Panthers fan since the team’s inception and Kuechly quickly became his favorite player, not long after he was drafted in 2012.
"I had knee surgery quite a few years back and I couldn't make my first game. We have PSLs and this was the first time I have ever missed a game. My wife sent a thing to the organization and I got a signed thing back from him saying he hopes I get better and all that stuff. I thought that was personal and very nice,” Leland said.
FOX 46 has seen Kuechly’s personal touch first hand. In 2016, he helped us get results for a teen with autism, sending her a video message, after she asked Luke to prom.
"Hey Morgan it's Luke. Thanks for sending me the prom invitation, I’m sorry I wasn't able to make it, but I hope you had a great night and tons of fun."
There’s no doubt that Kuechly will be missed by fans across the Carolinas on and off the field.