Inside The Bills

Gilchrist memorial Saturday

Posted by Chris Brown on April 14, 2011 – 10:05 am

The life of one of the greatest and most colorful players in Buffalo Bills history, Carlton Chester “Cookie” Gilchrist will be celebrated this Sat., April 16, 2011 at 11AM at St. John Baptist Church, 184 Goodell Street in Buffalo, NY. Gilchrist will be remembered by family, friends and former teammates at a special Memorial Celebration that is open to the public at the church.

Cookie Gilchrist, the Buffalo Bills’ hard-charging fullback who became one of the early stars of the American Football League, died of cancer at an assisted living center on January 10, 2011 in Pittsburgh. He was 75.

At 6 feet 3 inches and 250 pounds, Gilchrist was an uncommonly awesome running back for his era, and he was an outspoken figure off the field. He was often involved in contract disputes with management, and he helped lead a boycott threat by black players over discriminatory treatment in New Orleans when they arrived there for the AFL All-Star Game after the 1964 season, forcing the league to transfer the game to Houston.

Joining the Bills in 1962, the AFL’s third season, Gilchrist ran for 1,096 yards in 14 games and was named the league’s player of the year. He set a professional football single-game rushing record, since broken, when he ran for 243 yards and 5 touchdowns against the Jets in December 1963. Gilchrist led the AFL in rushing again in 1964, his final season with the Bills, when he helped take them to the league championship. He was named All-Pro every season from 1962 to 1965.

“Whoever would run up, he’d run at him and then run over him,” said former Bills teammate and Bills Alumni President Booker Edgerson. “Cookie was the Jim Brown of the American Football League; he was the icon of the league,” Edgerson said.

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