Fans raise $100K for Darryl Talley

In a little more than two days, the Buffalo Bills' faithful raised more than $100,000 for former linebacker Darryl Talley.

The money was raised by more that 2,200 donors in a crowd funding campaign posted by a Bills fan named Frank Croisdale.

"I'm not surprised about the fans of the Buffalo Bills, what they did with their hearts and with their pocket books," Croisdale said. "I am surprised by the number, the magnitude and the speed at which it took off."

Croisdale, the director of tourism for a hotel in Niagara Falls, Ontario, posted the campaign through the website GoFundMe after reading about Talley's plight in a Buffalo News story that day.

The 54-year-old Talley, who played with the Bills from 1982 through 1994, said he suffers from depression, lost his business and has thought about suicide.

"I'm not convinced I'm dead yet, but the future doesn't look bright," Talley told the newspaper.

"After reading that story, one name popped into my head: Junior Seau," Croisdale said. "I didn't want to read about Darryl in the same way."

Croisdale's goal was to raise $100,000 in a month, if at all.

Some 58 hours after he threw the first $100 in, the goal was reached.

"This shows what an incredible bond Bills and Mountaineers fans (Talley played college football at West Virginia) had for Darryl," Croisdale said. "Time might have even deepened our love for him."

Talley gets $39,000 annually from the NFL's total permanent disability policy, but his home of 17 years was foreclosed on and he currently rents.

GoFundMe spokesperson Kelsea Little said the site will transfer the money directly to Talley through his wife Janine, who Croisdale has been in touch with.

The site takes a five percent fee from each donation, and the payment partner takes out another 2.9 percent, she said.

The site's campaigns rarely reach their goals as quickly as Croisdale's did, Little said, but there have been several very successful sports-motivated projects that have found success on GoFundMe.

More than 16,000 people donated $809,065 to raise money for Boston Marathon bombing victim Jeff Bauman, who lost both his legs in the tragedy. Nearly $600,000 was raised for other marathon victims Roseann Sdoia and Heather Abbott, who both lost one of their legs.

Talley was part of an attacking defense that helped the Bills win four consecutive AFC championships from 1991-94. He then played for Atlanta and Minnesota before retiring after the 1996 season.

A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Talley's name is among those included on the Wall of Fame at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Said Croisdale: "I've been a Bills fan all my life, and I've never been more proud than this moment."