Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Bills' Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly will receive Jimmy V Award at 2018 ESPYS

Jim Kelly was always known for his toughness on the field as the quarterback of the Buffalo Bills. He led his team to four straight Super Bowls, the only quarterback ever to do that.

Twenty-two years after retiring from the game of football, Kelly’s toughness continues to be on display as he battles oral cancer.

On Monday, Kelly revealed the news that he was going to receive ESPN’s Jimmy V Award for toughness and perseverance at the 2018 ESPY awards in July.

“People are saying that’s awesome, and I said, ‘It’s awesome, but the only thing bad about it is you have to have had to go through a lot to win that award,’” Kelly said at his 22nd annual charity golf event. “I just know in my heart that the good Lord has put me in this situation to help not only the people out there suffering from cancer, but little kids too that are going through tough times to never give up, keep fighting because you never know.”

Kelly, his wife, Jill, and his daughters have been open and vocal that their faith in Christ has helped sustain them all during Jim’s very public battle with cancer.

RELATED: Bills Hall of Famer Jim Kelly thanks everyone for prayers as he prepares for cancer surgery

The Jimmy V Award is named for former North Carolina State men’s basketball coach Jim Valvano. While battling cancer in 1993, Valvano gave an emotional acceptance speech for the Arthur Ashe Courage Award that included his now-iconic words, “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” Last year, 15-year-old Saints fan Jarrius Robertson was the award’s recipient.

Kelly will be honored in Los Angeles on July 18 at the ESPY Awards show.

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