Family pays tribute to their son who was Missouri footballs biggest fan

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HOUSTON - Josh Hughes was Missouri footballs biggest fan. He attended as many games as he could, but he couldn't make it to the Texas Bowl to see his Tigers one last time.

His parents Gina and Kenny said that even though he was raised in Georgia, his love of Missouri sports came naturally.

"I was raised in St. Louis," Kenny Hughes said. "I love all Missouri teams so I guess I kinda forced that love onto my sons."

Kenny Hughes and his sons Lucas and Josh enjoyed going to sporting events together. He believed that he connected with his sons best through sports. That connection is what he will miss the most now that his oldest son Josh is gone.

"Josh was a type one diabetic," Kenny Hughes said. "It was October 20th, he was driving home late from work and they think his blood sugar dropped extremely low and he crashed. That's how we lost him."

Mizzou football began their six game winning streak the day after Josh passed away. Kenny Hughes believes that his son was part of the reason.

"It was the day after we lost Josh that Mizzou started turning their season around," Kenny Hughes said. "I kept saying, every weekend, that if they kept winning that we would go to a bowl game in Josh's honor, kind of as a tribute."

The Hughes traveled to the Texas Bowl seeking closure, knowing that this trip would have made their son happy.

"He would have wanted to go," Kenny Hughes said. "That's what makes this the hardest. He would have been here, so we have to enjoy this for him..."

Josh's younger brother Lucas explained that his brother was his inspiration and he will be sorely missed.

"This holiday season has been numbing," Lucas Hughes said. "We will keep going on to honor him." 

In honor of their son's passing, the Hughes accepted donations instead of flowers at Josh's funeral. In total the Hughes raised over $4,000 dollars towards the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation, an organization that Josh was interested in.