Formerly homeless piano player plays National Anthem for Monday Night Football

Josh Cascio reporting

- Before the spectacle that is Monday Night Football, all of Levi Stadium near San Francisco focused on one person: Donald Gould.

"When I first went out there, it was surreal. I was a bit overwhelmed," Gould said.

That's understandable considering where he was just two months ago; he was homeless on the streets of Sarasota.

He gained national attention after a video of him performing went viral.

"Never in my wildest dreams. Three months ago, if someone on the street came up to me and said, 'you’re going to play the National Anthem for the 49ers,' I'd say you're crazy," Gould said.  "It was just incredible. Words are hard to come by right now."

"He knocked it out of the park. It was amazing. It was once in a lifetime," said Gould's Christian life coach, Jacqueline Bevan.

So inspiring, even some Hall of Famers took notice.

"I went to introduce Donald to Steve Young -- who I love myself -- and he was like, 'I know who you are', and our mouths just dropped," Bevan said.

Not everyone gets a second chance in life; Donald is taking his and running with it.  He's sober and looks and sounds like a new man.

"I'm so proud of him. He's turned his life around. Just to watch him, he's gone from caterpillar to butterfly," added Bevan.

And he's just beginning to spread his wings.

"If I can do it, other people who are down and out -- there's hope for them in the future if they want it," Gould said.


video by Jacqueline Bevan

Posted by Donald Gould and Paul Lonardo on Monday, September 14, 2015


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