Fans pay tribute to Ralph Wilson

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – A traditional tailgate with a twist took place Sunday afternoon.

There was grilling and partying, but there wasn’t a game to prepare for; this one was for the man who gave Bills fans a reason to celebrate

Bills Fan “Captain Buffalo” said, “We are here out of respect for Mr. Wilson, he gave a chance for western New York and learned that it’s a good business opportunity and we are fiercely loyal to the product.”

Hundreds gathered in the Wings Flights of Hope lot outside the stadium that bears Wilson’s name because being a fan isn’t just about the game, it’s about community.

Terry Duffy of Youngstown said, “These are the hardcore people, I mean who in their right mind would be out here in the middle of winter, this is the core that supports the team and this is what you have to do when something like this happens.”

Jim Kelly was also on the minds of these fans.

Nick Zotara said, “Thank you Ralph for being here to support the community for everything you have done, Jim Kelly you and your family, we are praying for you, we love you.”

He tweeted out a picture Sunday, saying “no one circles the wagons like Bills fans.”
Russ Brandon tweeted out a picture Sunday, saying “no one circles the wagons like Bills fans.”

The event was also a fundraiser for Hunter’s Hope, an organization created by the Kellys to honor their late son.

Team President and CEO Russ Brandon even stopped by to say a few words about the Hall of Fame owner. Brandon personally promised to match money raised.

Tiffany Zotara said, “To me that’s what Ralph would have wanted because he was around for the Bills fans for so long, this is what we do we come around we show support and love and you know we represent the Bills for all they do for us and ralph did so much no only for the team but for the community as well.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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