MILWAUKEE — A year ago Bob Cook guaranteed a Packers appearance in Texas for Super Bowl XLV, and he was right.

The rest of his prediction – that he would attend the game as he had every Super Bowl before – did not come true.

Cook died Thursday after being hospitalized with a blood infection – an ailment that did not stop him from watching the Packers triumph on TV from a Milwaukee-area hospital.

“We were packed and ready to go,” his wife, Sarah, said. “He was just too weak to go.”

Cook, of Brown Deer, Wis., was 79.

Television viewers became familiar with Cook’s story, which credit card giant Visa introduced to the world in a Super Bowl ad featuring Cook and the three other fans in the “Never Miss a Super Bowl Club.”

His pals on Sunday fondly recalled Cook as they lamented the group dwindling to three. It was five at one time.

“It’s a sad day for the never miss club,” said Don Crisman, a retired sales and marketing executive from Kennebunkport, Maine.

Crisman said Cook was relentless about bringing up a certain Super Bowl in 1997.

“He loved to needle me about Super Bowl XXXI, when his Packers beat my Patriots. He couldn’t go a day without doing that. But it was all in fun.”

The San Francisco 49ers fan in the group, Larry Jacobson, remembered Cook as a good friend and raconteur.

“He was a great storyteller and a great jazz lover,” Jacobson recalled.

Thomas Henschel, a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, is the other member of the club who has seen every game since 1967.

Cook, a Packers season-ticket holder for more than 40 years, joined the group about nine years ago. His streak of Super Bowls was well-known among friends.

“When the Packers beat the Bears, so many people said to me, ‘I’m glad they could do it for Bob,’ ” Sarah recalled.

Bob Cook loved Aaron Rodgers’ game and had no second thoughts about him taking over for Brett Favre.

“Bob would say, ‘Brett who?’ ” Sarah said.