Rooneys release statement on the passing of Ralph Wilson

Rick Stewart

The league lost a patriarch of the game Tuesday when Ralph Wilson, 95 years old, passed away.

The Steelers' chairman Dan Rooney and team president Art Rooney II released a joint statement on the passing of Bills owner Ralph Wilson Tuesday on the team's web site.

We are deeply saddened by today’s news of the passing of Ralph Wilson, one of the most respected owners in our league. Ralph made many contributions to both the AFL and NFL, playing a major role in the growth and development of both leagues. His impact helped make the NFL a success, and he always kept the league’s best interest in mind to better the game of professional football.

We lost a great man and a great friend today. We want to extend our prayers, deepest sympathies and condolences to his wife, Mary, his daughters and the entire Wilson Family, as well as the Buffalo Bills organization.

If any of the founders of the NFL and then-fledgling AFL envisioned what professional football would be in its current form, they'd be considered clairvoyant. The sheer magnitude of the current state of the NFL is awesome in itself, let alone what it was when Wilson and other visionaries of the league met five decades ago to establish the framework of what we enjoy today.

Professional sports lost a great man Tuesday. SteelerNation's deepest condolences are extended to the Wilson family, fans of the Buffalo Bills and NFL fans everywhere.

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