January 27, 2023

Franco Harris, NFL Hall of Famer who caught ‘immaculate reception’, dies at 72

Franco Harris, Hall of Famer belonging to the Pittsburgh Steelers who is best known for his sluggish catches as “immaculate reception” In 1972, still one of the most memorable moments in NFL history, he died. He was 72 years old.

His death was confirmed by his son, Franco “Doc” Harris, to the Associated Press.

Harris’ death comes a few days ago fiftieth anniversary Of the “immaculate reception,” which Mike Tomlin, current Steelers head coach, said, said this week It was “the most important play in the history of the game”. Steelers He plans to retire Harris’ jersey number, 32during a halftime ceremony in their game on Saturday.

On December 23, 1972, the Steelers were trailing, 7-6, in a divisional playoff game against the Oakland Raiders. With less than 30 seconds to play in the fourth quarter, Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw despondently made a pass to John “Frenchie” Fuqua, only to see the ball veer toward the ground. But Harris pulled the ball out of the air a few inches from the turf and ran untouched for the game-winning touchdown, a remarkable finish that has been replayed thousands of times since.

Five decades later, Harris, who played college football at Penn State, remains one of the Steelers’ most beloved players and an instantly recognizable face in Pittsburgh. He rushed for 12,120 yards over 13 seasons, 12 of which were with Pittsburgh, and was the centerpiece of the Steelers’ most successful era, winning Super Bowls in the 1974, 1975, 1978, and 1979 seasons.

He was named to the Pro Bowl nine times and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1990.

This is a developing story. A full obituary will be posted soon.