The owners of Anniston’s Goal Post Bar-B-Q sign —  an animated neon athlete who Quintard motorists watched kick a glowing, amber football for half a century —  will set the recently refurbished icon aglow Thursday.

“It’s wonderful,” said Tonya Pruett, manager at Betty’s Bar-B-Q, the new home of the sign.

Cathy Pruett Cofield, the owner of Betty’s and daughter of the local businessman who opened Goal Post, bought the sign as construction crews were tearing down the Goal Post restaurant in January to make room for a Verizon Wireless location.

Tonya Pruett said a sign repair company has worked to refurbish the sign since Cofield bought it earlier this year.

Cofield’s father, S.A. Pruett, opened the Goal Post on Quintard in the early 1960s.

He purchased the custom-made sign from Noble Sign Co. for $1,500.

The restaurant changed hands several times throughout its life, but Roy Young and his family ran it for the longest period, from 1973 to 1998.

Cofield’s mother, Betty Walker, opened her barbecue restaurant in the late 1970s.

Residents say the Goal Post was the post-game rally point for Anniston High School football fans, and it played host to generals, U.S. senators and Paul “Bear” Bryant.

Anniston Mayor Vaughn Stewart said the neon placekicker is a landmark and seeing it go to the dump would have been tragic.

“This sign, this piece of art, is part of Anniston's story, and it’s absolutely worth preserving,” he said.  

The relighting ceremony will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at Betty's. 

Tonya Pruett said the response from the community about the event has been unbelievable.

“The mayor is more ecstatic than we are,” she said.

Assistant Metro Editor Daniel Gaddy: 256-235-3560. On Twitter @DGaddy_Star.

I'm the assistant metro editor for The Anniston Star. I edit, post online stories and write the occasional story. I also run the Business as Usual column.