'Mr. Football' Dick Gallagher dies at 79

Jun 23, 2020

One of our area's most beloved athletic figures has died.

Credit Western New York High School Coaches Association

Richard "Dick" Gallagher was a social worker by trade and is remembered for his work in addiction treatment. But Gallagher had a passion for high school sports. He was devoted to promoting scholastic football and other sports.

He began publishing a weekly tabloid, Western New York High School Sports, in 1983 and continued until 2010. He was often used as a source by local media to comment about scholastic athletics.

Gallagher died Monday under hospice care following a lengthy illness. He was 79. Condolences were quick to follow. Here are some of them:

"We lost the life of a great man and that man changed WNY football forever," said Section VI Football Chairman Ken Stoldt. "On behalf of Section 6 FB, players, coaches, and families of WNY, we say thank you to Dick Gallagher for all you've done. The effort and character you've demonstrated have set the bar for all of us. You will never be forgotten. Our condolences to the Gallagher family. RIP Dick!"

From the Western New York High School Coaches Association:

"The Western New York High School Football Coaches Association is saddened to hear of the passing of Dick Gallagher. Dick’s legacy will be one of unparalleled generosity of resources, time, and spirit. We are all better because of you. Condolences to the Gallagher family." 

From Cleve-Hill Football:

WNY lost an icon today. Dick Gallagher was a friend to anyone who ever met him. Humble, empathetic and passionate about helping kids kick drugs or in knowing the kids in every football program in WNY. Prayers for the Gallagher family."