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Edward N. "Buckets" Hirsch, 78, a retired Amherst police lieutenant who was one of the stars of the original Buffalo Bills football team, died Friday (Jan. 28, 2000) in Lake Shore Hospital, Irving, after a long illness.

Born in Buffalo, he attended Williamsville High School. At Northwestern University, he was captain of the football team in 1943 and most valuable player. After serving as an Army paratrooper during World War II, he returned to Northwestern, where he was an all-star player.

After graduating, in 1947, he became a member of the first Buffalo Bills football team in the former All-America Football Conference and was a star linebacker for the team through 1949, after which it disbanded. In 1950, he played for the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League.

Known for his ferocious tackling, Hirsch gave Buffalo the victory over the Baltimore Colts in the 1948 All-America Football Conference Eastern Division championship game by intercepting a Y.A. Tittle pass in the fourth quarter and returning it 20 yards for the clinching touchdown.

He served for 30 years with the Amherst Police Department, advancing from patrolman to detective to lieutenant. He was cited as Officer of the Year in 1969 for bravery. He retired in the late 1970s.

He was the widower of Jeanne Landt Hirsch.

Survivors include a daughter, Kristina of Brant; three sons, Christopher of Brant, Mark of Farnham and Michael of Orlando, Fla.; a sister, Jeanette Bishop of Williamsville; and four grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 5480 Main St., Williamsville, after prayers at 10 in Beach-Tuyn Funeral Home, 5541 Main St., Williamsville. Burial will be in Williamsville Cemetery.


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