Former Buffalo Bills broadcaster Van Miller died Friday at age 87, the team announced.
Miller, the first local play-by-play announcer ever honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004, was a native of western New York who worked for the Bills for more than 37 seasons. He spent two separate stints as the team's radio voice, from the team's inception in 1960 to 1970 and again from 1978-2003. He remains the longest-tenured broadcaster for one team in NFL history. In October 2014, he was inducted onto the team's Wall of Fame.
“On behalf of Terry and Kim Pegula and everyone at One Bills Drive, we are all deeply saddened with the news of the passing of Van Miller,” Bills president Russ Brandon said in a statement released by the team.
“As the ‘Voice of the Bills,’ Van's historic radio calls of Bills games over the years will forever resonate with our fans,’ Brandon continued. “His Hall of Fame and Wall of Fame talent was overshadowed only by his engaging personality, his witty sense of humor and his love for the Bills.
“We will all dearly miss ‘Uncle Van,’ but his legacy will remain deeply embedded in our franchise's history and in the hearts of his countless fans in Western New York and throughout the NFL community. Our deepest sympathies, along with our thoughts and prayers, go out to his wife Gloria and all of Van's family during this difficult time."
Miller, the team's first-ever radio broadcaster, called the team's AFC championships in 1964 and 1965, and all four of Buffalo's Super Bowls in the early 90s. He also broadcast Buffalo Braves NBA basketball for seven seasons, University of Buffalo baseball and basketball, and Niagara basketball, among other sports.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, two children and three grandchildren.
- Jeremy Woo