Family and friends gathered at the Sunset Funeral Home in the lower valley on Tuesday to remember and honor El Paso’s Ezra Castro. Castro, 39, died last week following a long battle with cancer.
Castro, better known as ‘Pancho Billa’ in NFL circles, was a Buffalo Bills superfan. He attended games in Buffalo wearing his iconic Bills mask and sombrero. He often used the phrase, “Viva los Bills.”
The Bills organization has been with Pancho Billa and his family throughout his battle with cancer. At the 2018 NFL Draft, Pancho Billa was invited on stage to make a draft selection for the team. He called in a draft pick just last month from his hospital bed in Dallas, Texas.
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
“It’s been very humbling to see the outpouring of love and support from the bills organization,” said Pancho Billa’s older brother Jaime Castro. “From the top to the bottom, to the people he got to choose with the draft picks.”
Jamie, who is a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan, says he always remembers his little brother being a Bills fan, even in the 1990’s.
“During the Super Bowl years, it was tough in our house,” said Jaime. “There was a little tension there and we both agreed we wouldn’t talk to each other for that whole week before kickoff. When the game started, it was on then.”
The Castro family says Pancho Billa inspired thousands across the country.
“Pancho Billa was somebody who impacted a lot of sports fans and he brought hope to the field, the game, and the stands,” said Jaime. “It’s not just about football. Sports truly does unite.”
The Buffalo Bills plan to honor Pancho Billa at their home opener on Sunday, September 22 against the Cincinnati Bengals.