Ralph Wilson, the man who brought Buffalo, N.Y. a professional football franchise and helped found the AFL, has died. He passed away peacefully with his wife and daughters by his side.
Ralph Wilson, who was an iconic figure to Buffalo Bills fans, died on March 25.The Buffalo Bills website has organized several links for fans to share their stories of Ralph Wilson, to read his story and to interact with each other. The loss of Ralph Wilson has had an immediate impact on the community as fans deal with the grief and emotions involved in losing the one and only owner of the Buffalo Bills.
Ralph Wilson, who brought the Bills to Buffalo in 1960, was passionate about football and he brought that passion to Western New York. In the days when there was the AFL and the NFL, Ralph Wilson’s Buffalo Bills won two AFL Championships, which are the equivalent of the modern day Super Bowl. The late Jack Kemp, a former congressman and vice presidential candidate, was the quarterback who led the Buffalo Bills to their first AFL Championship. Kemp, who died in 2009, was a seven time AFL All-Star and played for the Buffalo Bills from 1962 until 1969.
Ralph Wilson will be remembered by fans and colleagues as a man passionate about football, but equally as passionate about giving back to the community that supported the Buffalo Bills through some of the worst years in NFL history. His name is on the stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y. where the Bills suit up for every home game. Ralph Wilson Stadium, affectionately called “The Ralph” by fans, flew the flags at half-mast yesterday in honor of the icon; the man Buffalo Bills fans felt was their very own Vince Lombardi.
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