BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - With the passing of Ralph Wilson, we’re left to reflect on his achievements and accomplishments. Wilson tackled the NFL by leaving his mark with the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The last years of Ralph Wilson’s life were ones being honored for his impact on pro football.
In August 2009, Ralph Wilson said, “It has been a grand ride for me and tonight is a high point.”
ESPN’s Chris Berman said, “Fifty years later the Bills still belong to Buffalo because your owner has given you his word.”
In 2009, Wilson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame along with former Buffalo Bill Bruce Smith.
“It’s something that’s difficult to put into words. It’s a close knit club, it’s a fraternity and that’s the way I can describe it.”
Canton, Ohio got to experience what it means to be a Bills fan, as a sea of blue took over the city that day, a familiar and welcomed sight for Wilson.
Wilson said, “Everytime I looked around, I saw a Bills jacket and I don’t know how many came but a lot of them, and that’s great to see. Same thing in Buffalo, they’re very supportive.”
“To have played for him, for that team and what he’s done for the team since then, even the old timers what he’s done for them it’s fantastic, I’m just proud that’s why I’m still in Buffalo.”
November 6, 2011 was the last time Wilson was seen at a home Bills game. Then on August 3, 2012 he was honored once again in Canton as the Pro Football Research and Preservations Center was named after the Bills owner.
At 93 he was showing his age, needing help cutting the ribbon and standing at the podium. Still, he gave a spirited speech and showed his sense of humor.