BUFFALO, NY (WROC) — A Bills superfan battling cancer has sadly passed away.
In a tweet, family members announced Tuesday that Ezra Castro, better known as Pancho Billa, has passed away.
Castro has battled cancer for over a year and entered hospice care last month in Texas. Despite his health failing, he was still able to call in the Bills first-round draft pick last month from his bed.
In a tweet, family members write, “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.”
In a tweet, Bills owner Kim Pegula writes, “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!”
Castro was invited on stage in 2018 by former Bills players Fred Jackson and Andre Reed to announce the team’s third-round pick.
Castro, who was well-known around New Era Field, could be seen at games and tailgates wearing his uniform: A luchador mask adorned with “Los Bills,” a sombrero, and a pancho. His battle with cancer inspired fans and drew support from the team who urged Castro to keep fighting.
On Twitter, he rallied for the team, using his custom hashtags: “#VivaLosBills!” and “#PanchoPower.”
The Bills used #VivaLosBills” when tweeting out a video honoring Pancho.