BUFFALO (WKBW) He was a man who stole the hearts of many on and off the football field. "Cookie" Gilchrist passed away in a Pennsylvania nursing home in January after battling cancer. Saturday, he was remembered here in Buffalo, as family, friends, and former teammates of Cookie Gilchrist gathered for a memorial service in his honor.
The former Bills star passed away in January, but Saturday was a day to honor the sugar-loving man they all loved.
Former teammate Booker Edgerson said Cookie was an inspiration in and out of football. "He did so much good for the community, he did so much good for his family, and especially for his teammates," Edgerson said.
Cookie's son Scott was also in attendance at the service. He remembered his father as a variety of things. "He always fought for the underdog, humanitarian, trail blazer, cantankerous," Scott Gilchrist said.
Butch Byrd played alongside Cookie, and said he was a multi-faceted guy. "A real large presence of a man, a great football player, but he had so much more to him than just football," Bird said.
Many at the service told stories of their memories with Cookie. Former Bill Billy Shaw drew laughs with his account of the humorous side of Gilchrist.
"If Cookie felt the line wasn't blocking for him, he would tell the guys 'If you guys don't block I'm gonna run up your butt,'" Shaw said.
The man known as Cookie played only three years for the Bills in the early 1960's, but left a lasting legacy. He rushed for over 3,000 yards and 31 touchdowns while in Buffalo, and was a key part of the Bills' 1964 AFL Championship team. Cookie Gilchrist passed away from cancer at the age of 75.
"It was almost like a homecoming, and I know my father would be happy with how he was represented today," Scott Gilchrist said.