The Marshall Thundering Herd football team is going to pull on custom black jerseys and wear special helmets to honor the seventy-five souls tragically lost in a plane crash on Nov. 11, 1970.

The Herds’ jet, a Southern Airways chartered DC-9, crashed into a hill just shy of the runway at West Virginia’s Tri-State airport, killing all 75 people aboard, including 45 members of the team and coaching staff. The rest of the manifest was made up of team boosters and members of the flight crew.

Marshall was returning home to Huntington, West Virginia from Greenville, North Carolina following a 17-14 loss to the East Carolina Pirates. 

The crash is regarded as the worst sports-related tragedy in the history of American sport and a day Marshall intends never to forget or fail to honor. Saturday’s game at Joan C. Edwards Stadium against Middle Tennessee State will be played on the exact anniversary, fifty years later, of the tragedy. 

With the austere black jerseys and the block “75” on the white helmets popping out at the viewer, the Thundering Herd have created a stark but stunning tribute to the Marshall family and friends who were lost that day but never forgotten.