PITTSBURGH P.A. (WTRF)– Just days before the anniversary of undoubtedly one of the most iconic plays in Steelers and NFL history, retired running back Franco Harris unexpectedly died on December 20, 2022.

He’s just a special man…I just admire his passion for Pittsburgh.

Mike Tomlin, Steelers head coach

Franco met so much to so many people…Every time I got to talk to him, he had a smile on his face.

Cam Heyward, Steelers Defensive Tackle 

Many have said, and I agree that the “Immaculate Reception” marked the turning point in franchise history. My grandfather was once quoted saying, ‘Before Franco got here, we didn’t win much. Since he got here, we don’t lose.

Art Rooney II, Steelers President 

Franco Harris played for 13 seasons, primarily wearing Black and Gold. 

He ran 12,120 yards and won four Super Bowl rings during his career. 

His memorable play against Oakland known as the “Immaculate Reception.” 

Defined his career and even jump started the Steelers path to success.  

In 1984 he retired from the league but continued to be involved with the Steelers. 

He entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990. 

Harris went on the serve as the board chair for “The Pittsburgh promise,” among many other charities and nonprofit organizations.  

Through his years of involvement with the sport, Franco left his mark on countless players, coaches, and the whole city of Pittsburgh.  

In his honor, the Steelers are retiring his No. 32 jersey, a tribute that was planned prior to his passing. 

Franco Harris was more than a football player; he embodied every aspect of the sport, and his legacy will forever inspire those who love the game.