Cliff Branch has been waiting a long time to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He qualified in 1991.
However, the former Raiders wide receiver died in 2019, three years before his entry into Canton.
His sister, Elaine Anderson, gave Branch’s acceptance speech on Saturday on behalf of all of Branch’s siblings.
“Today is bittersweet because we miss our Cliff,” Anderson said. “It’s nice because now it’s history. I want a sweet spirit in this place today. Our Clifford, No. 21, would not miss this coronation for anything. He craved his day and 21 sits front and center with Al Davis and John Madden.”
Anderson said that Branch’s blood turned silver and black the day the Raiders selected him in 1972. He played with the team until 1986, winning three Super Bowl rings and three All-Pros.
In 1974, Branch led the league in receiving yards and finished his career with 501 receptions for 8,685 yards and 67 touchdowns.
Branch was 71 when he died.
“Wow what a legacy he lives on,” Anderson said at the end of the 4-minute speech. “Today is perfect.”