Steelers president Art Rooney II released a statement Wednesday after the death of legendary running back Franco Harris was announced. Harris was 72 years old.
“It is difficult to find the appropriate words to describe Franco Harris’ impact on the Pittsburgh Steelers, his teammates, the City of Pittsburgh and Steelers Nation,” Rooney said in the release. “From his rookie season, which included the Immaculate Reception, through the next 50 years, Franco brought joy to people on and off the field. He never stopped giving back in so many ways. He touched so many, and he was loved by so many. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Dana, his son Dok, and his extended family at this difficult time.”
The news comes just days before Pittsburgh is set to his retire his No. 32 jersey at halftime of Saturday night’s game against the Raiders to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the famous Immaculate Reception. Harris was the receiver on one of the most famous plays in football history and went on to have a Pro Football Hall of Fame career that included four Super Bowl wins, one MVP and nine Pro Bowls.
His cause of death is unknown at this time.