Buffalo Bills super-fan Pancho Billa has died.
Ezra Castro, a native of Texas, had gone through cancer treatments since 2017. Ever since, fans, players, Bills management and the franchise’s owners all rallied to his cause and his masked persona.
On Tuesday morning, after weeks of updates that Castro’s health was declining, it was announced on his Twitter account that Pancho Billa had died.
Our hearts broken as we have lost our dear brother ezra “Pancho Billa” this morning. We are thankful and forever grateful for all the love and support during this journey. Ezra was surrounded by family and loved ones. At this time we ask for privacy as we mourn our loss. — Pancho Billa (@PanchoBilla1) May 14, 2019
Pancho Billa, the upbeat and resilient masked man who the @BuffaloBills organization and #BillsMafia rallied behind, has died after a prolonged battle with cancer. We came to know Ezra Castro through the years and with great sadness, we say #RIPPancho #PanchoPower #VivaLosBills pic.twitter.com/2ZFsD0vfmv — News 4, WIVB-TV (@news4buffalo) May 14, 2019
Kim Pegula released a statement on Castro’s death:
Pancho was a pillar of positive strength and energy for me and all of #BillsMafia. He’s been a tremendous inspiration for our team. I was fortunate enough to spend time with him and get to know his story. My heart goes out to his children, friends and family. Viva Los Bills! pic.twitter.com/UFBVMjMWDd — Kim Pegula (@KimPegula) May 14, 2019
Others have also reacted to the death of the Bills super-fan:
Heavy hearts in Buffalo today as we pray for Pancho and his family. We will never lose your spirit, and the inspiration you shared with us. Pancho Power Forever! #VivaLosBills pic.twitter.com/9SYljbStV8 — Josh Allen (@JoshAllenQB) May 14, 2019
There’s a whole lot of sadness today – but also a whole lot of joy in remembering @PanchoBilla1’s vivacious life. He put a smile on the face of anyone he talked to.#VivaLosBills – may his spirit live on in the hearts of #BillsMafia forever pic.twitter.com/lORgNbAYUA — Jenna Harner (@JennaHarner4) May 14, 2019
The first time I called Pancho for an interview, he had just left chemo. I could tell he wasn’t feeling great (I was shocked he answered the phone). I told him to call me back another time. He said he’d always answer for a 716 number, and wanted to do the interview right then RIP https://t.co/Hwo1YyI1hD — Kelsey Anderson (@4KelseyAnderson) May 14, 2019
Thank you #PanchoBilla , a true Rider and fighter for himself and for the #BuffaloBills organization. You Will forever be apart of 716, and the 716 will forever be apart of you. Rest Easy #Pancho The fight Continues #YouAlreadyShnow pic.twitter.com/frpmdZyuz9 — Dion Dawkins (@DDawkins66) May 14, 2019
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen so much Queen City love for a man who never lived in Buffalo. A look-back on the life on @PanchoBilla1, tonight on @news4buffalo. — Chris Horvatits (@ChrisHorvatits4) May 14, 2019
Big salute to @BuffaloBills and that loyal fambase y’all have. Y’all went above & beyond to uplift the fan. That reciprocation is shown throughout the Buffalo community. Love it or hate it. #Billsmafia4Life 🤜🏾🤛🏼 #VivaLosBills🖤 pic.twitter.com/xCUoz7avhz — STVN (@StevieJohnson13) May 14, 2019
Through misty eyes,I SEE CLEARLY what @nfl does 4 people like #PanchoBilla🙏🏾Football is more then a game,it’s FAMILY.The loss of this #BillsMafia member hurts,but we must keep his legacy alive.A legacy of community through love for our team @BuffaloBills @Fred22Jackson #RIPPancho pic.twitter.com/vUZvzrvGGj — Andre Reed (@Andre_Reed83) May 14, 2019
Dozens of fans have also chosen to honor Castro by donating to Roswell Park in his name. You can make a donation to Roswell Park here.