Mary Wilson greets Bills fans at memorial

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Ralph Wilson memorial wasn’t just an emotional time for players and fans. The wife of the late Bills owner was there as well.

Mary Wilson, who is now the sole owner of the team, spent a lot of time talking to fans — embracing them, thanking them, and swapping memories of the Bills’ glory years.

As Bills fans walked through the fieldhouse, they got see firsthand Hall of Fame relics, championship trophies, and old photos of Mr. Ralph Wilson Jr.

“What you’ve got to do is go see Ralph as a baby. He looked the same his entire life,” his widow Mary Wilson said.

Before leaving the memorial for the late Bills owner, some of those fans had the chance to meet Mrs. Wilson.

“’90 to ’94, those were the years,” one fan told her.

“And guess what, that’s when I met him. I was his date at the first Super Bowl,” Wilson responded.

With a sharp sense of humor, let fans in on some memories from that ‘super’ date.

“At one point, he forgot I was his date. I didn’t realize how big it was to be in the Super Bowl. I was like, I’m your date, remember me?” Wilson laughed.

Fans offered condolences to Mrs. Wilson and she reminisced with them about one of the most memorable Bills games ever — the greatest comeback in NFL history.

“I said we’re going to win this game. I know we’re going to win this game. Then the weather changed, and this mystical happening. Then (the Oilers) came out and scored again. Then we came back and it was unbelievable,” Wilson said.

“There were so many amazing moments. And the most amazing moment was when I met Ralph and he changed my life for greatness,” Wilson said.

As she began to tear up, she motioned the crowd toward an autograph book at the end of the memorial exhibit.

“So thank you all. Come on fans, sign the book,” she said.

But a fan autograph book to honor Ralph Wilson wouldn’t be complete with the signature of his biggest fan of all. Mary made her way to the book as fans beamed and signed it herself.

“He was the best for me,” she said. 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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