A special tribute to Pro Football Hall of Famer
was held in downtown Buffalo on Friday night. Hall of Fame President David Baker
and other Hall staff were among the 300 people that included NFL dignitaries such as Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill
, former players, and friends, who attended the event at Shea's Performing Arts Center.
“Ralph Wilson’s legacy is forever remembered at the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Baker commented about the late founder and longtime owner. “He exemplified the values of the Game and his excellence is something that can be celebrated by all.”
Wilson was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.
He later donated $2.5 million to the Hall’s renovation and expansion project that resulted in the world’s finest archives for pro football. The facility is named the Ralph Wilson Jr. Pro Football Research and Preservation Center
“Ralph cared deeply about the history of the game,” stated the Hall’s Executive Vice President of Museums, Selection Process & Chief Communications Officer Joe Horrigan
who was on hand for Friday’s tribute.
Horrigan is a Buffalo native whose father was the longtime Public Relations Director for the Bills in the 1960s and ‘70s.
Among others who attended the Wilson tribute was ESPN sportscaster and Wilson’s presenter in 2009 Chris Berman
, and Bills Hall of Famers Jim Kelly
, Thurman Thomas
, Marv Levy
, Joe DeLamielleure
, and Andre Reed
. Also in attendance were many other Bills alumni from the 1960s like Ron McDole
, Paul Guidry
, Booker Edgerson
, Ed Rutkowski
, as well as Joanne Kemp, the wife of former Bills quarterback Jack Kemp
Wilson’s Hall of Fame Bronzed Bust and Gold Jacket were displayed for those on hand to celebrate his life, many of whom were unable to attend his funeral in March.
|.com – “A night to honor Ralph Wilson”
||ProFootballHOF.com – “Best of Ralph Wilson’s Enshrinement Speech”
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