It's official, no other Buffalo Bill will ever wear the number 34.
The team retired Thurman Thomas' jersey with a ceremony at halftime during the Monday Night Football game against the New England Patriots Monday night. Thomas was joined at New Era Field by his family and team owners Kim and Terry Pegula, while former teammates Jim Kelly and Bruce Smith, along with former coach Marv Levy clapped from the sidelines.
Thomas compared the ceremony to the rush of running out on the field before a game.
"I never thought when I retired that I would get to experience the singular thrill of coming out of the tunnel and onto the field in front of you all once again but I am experiencing it now," Thomas said.
Thomas is the all-time leading rusher in franchise history.
The Hall of Fame player thanked the City of Buffalo, which he called his home, and the Pegulas, for recognizing his contributions to the team long before they owned it. Thomas offered a special message to the late Ralph Wilson, saying "he's up there listening."
Thomas thanked Wilson for being, "the man that gave me the chance to play for the team I love and the city I've made my home."
He also thanked fans.
"To all my fans, some of y'all are crazy as hell, and you know who you are," Thomas said. "But you have supported me throughout my entire career and beyond. I love each and every one of you more than you will ever know."