BREAKING: Hall Of Fame NFL LEGEND Just DIED Days Before Receiving This MAJOR Award


It is with extreme sadness to report NFL Hall of Famer, the great Franco Harris has passed away.

Harris, the Hall of Fame running back is most famous for what is called “The Immaculate Reception” which is considered the most iconic play in NFL history.

He was 72 years old.

Harris’ son Dok told The Associated Press his father passed away overnight. No cause of death was given.

His famous “Immaculate Reception,” happened 50 years ago Friday.

The Immaculate Reception officially is recorded by the NFL as a 60-yard touchdown pass from Terry Bradshaw to Harris, but it was so much more. That play was the catalyst in the Steelers’ change from a 39-year-old franchise that never had won a single playoff game or won a single championship into one that has 36 postseason wins and an array of six Lombardi Trophies.

His death comes two days before the 50th anniversary of the play that provided the jolt that helped transform the Steelers from also-rans into the NFL’s elite and three days before Pittsburgh is scheduled to retire his No. 32 during a ceremony at halftime of its game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Christmas Eve, reports.

Harris’s death was considered sudden, as he had been active on social media just days before his death and had spoken to visitors at the Heinz History Center the day before his death. Harris’s death just days before the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception and his subsequent jersey number retirement was immediately reminiscent of Pittsburgh Pirates legend Willie Stargell, who died on the same day as the official opening of PNC Park in 2001 and only two days following the unveiling of a bronze statue at PNC Park of Stargell.

Just hours before his death, Harris did a radio interview Tuesday with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo on his show, “Mad Dog Unleashed,” on SiriusXM. It was Harris’ last known interview, FOX NEWS reports.

“Doing great, fantastic,” Harris replied when Russo asked him how he was feeling. “And as you said, 50 years ago, and it feels brand new.”

The Steelers were set to retire Harris’ No. 32 this Sunday at Acrisure Stadium and celebrate the 50th anniversary of his catch, which came against the Oakland Raiders in the 1972 AFC divisional playoffs during his rookie season.

“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,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement on Twitter. “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 entire team at the Pro Football Hall of Fame is immensely saddened today,” Pro Football Hall of Fame president Jim Porter said in a statement on Wednesday. “We have lost an incredible football player, an incredible ambassador to the Hall and, most importantly, we have lost one of the finest gentlemen anyone will ever meet. Franco not only impacted the game of football, but he also affected the lives of many, many people in profoundly positive ways.

“The Hall of Fame and historians everywhere will tell Franco’s football story forever. His life story can never be told fully, however, without including his greatness off the field.”


He came into the NFL as a first-round draft pick in 1972, and when he finished that season with 1,055 yards rushing, a 5.6 average, and 10 touchdowns despite only starting 10 of the 14 games, he became the fifth rookie in NFL history ever to rush for 1,000 yards. He created what is recognized as the “Greatest Play in NFL History” by running to the football, by simply doing what he was coached to do. He was the MVP of Super Bowl IX, which was the first championship in history for a franchise that had been in business 41 seasons without one. During a decade where his team won 4 Super Bowls and appeared in 17 postseason games to do so, he scored 17 touchdowns. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

“Franco was the heart and soul of our team,” said Joe Greene, a man who would know. “When Franco arrived, we became the Pittsburgh Steelers. Franco brought the Steelers out of the dark ages.”

Franco Harris was a great football player. There also is ample evidence he was a better human being.

“Anybody who came to him with a charitable interest, Franco always responded favorably,” said Joe Gordon, whose title during the 1970s was Public Relations Director but was in fact so much more. “The most significant thing was the Pittsburgh Promise. He has been the chairman of the Promise since it started. He gave significant seed money to it at the very beginning, and he has been active all the way through. It’s a really special program that provides scholarship money to high school graduates from Pittsburgh Public Schools. Over 2,000 kids have already benefited from it.”

More Gordon: “I remember when he was a rookie there was a request from Children’s Hospital that there was a young kid who was a big Steelers fan and wanted to meet a player. I went into the dressing room after practice, and I said, ‘Anybody here interested in going to Children’s Hospital to visit a very sick kid?’ There was silence for a while, and Franco came over to me, and this was when he was a rookie, and he said, ‘I will go.’ That was typical of him. He did so many things of that nature. His contributions to the Pittsburgh community were far greater than what he accomplished on the football field.”

Franco Harris will never be forgotten not only for his excellence on the field but for the inspiration he has given to the youth of the nation.

Rest in peace Franco and thank you for all the wonderful and legendary memories that will last for eternity.

You were the best!

Our condolences go out to the family, friends, fans, team mates and all of the lives he touched and made a positive difference in their lives.



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