A Bills superfan and native El Pasoan 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. Despite his health failing, he was still able to call in the Bills first-round draft pick last month from his bed.
Ezra Castro, better known as @PanchoBilla1, has died at the age of 39 after battling cancer. The El Paso native and Riverside alum was a @BuffaloBills super fan. He made this selection in the #NFLDraft last month.
Via: @news4buffalo #RIPPancho #KTSM9Sports pic.twitter.com/TJxCYtFD3x — Andy Morgan (@AndyMorganTV) May 14, 2019
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.”
According to Heavy, the proud El Pasoan chose to become a fan of the Bills because the team’s colors are similar to that of the Mexican flag.
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!”
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
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.