In the week of the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception and when his former NFL team had plans to retire his football jersey, Pittsburgh Steelers legend Franco Harris passed away at the age of 72.
The president of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Art Rooney II confirmed the death and released a statement about the death of Harris.
“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. 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.”
Statement from Steelers President Art Rooney II on the passing of Franco Harris: pic.twitter.com/5Ojd5Uatvr
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 21, 2022
The Associated Press reported that Harris’ son Dok informed the media outlet that Franco passed away overnight. The cause of death was not stated.
An announcement was just made on Tuesday about the forthcoming documentary featuring the 72-year-old legend and celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, which was voted the greatest play in NFL history. On Friday, Dec. 23, the premiere of Franco Harris: A Football Life will take place at 9 p.m. on the NFL Network. The film will be playing on the exact date when the play happened during Harris’ rookie season in 1972.
The documentary will feature his teammates from the infamous Steelers team from the 70s, including Joe Greene, Mel Blount, Jack Ham, and Terry Bradshaw.
Harris sent out a message via Twitter last week to help promote the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception. The video featured his former teammate, former quarterback, and current sportscaster Bradshaw.
:Terry’s still got it
The Immaculate Reception is coming to
– where you can own the NFL’s most iconic Moments! Join the drop on Dec. 20th and YOU could be one of 10 fans to own the Immaculate Reception Moment”
Terry’s still got it 😂
The Immaculate Reception is coming to @NFLALLDAY – where you can own the NFL’s most iconic Moments!
Join the drop on Dec. 20th and YOU could be one of 10 fans to own the Immaculate Reception Moment
Sign up now ➡️ https://t.co/3rRAHhJmcq
— Franco Harris (@francoharrishof) December 14, 2022
In his rookie season, Harris took home the NFL’s Rookie to the Year award in 1972. He set a rushing record for a rookie at that time when he ran for 1,055 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. His play helped the Steelers reach the playoffs for only the second time in franchise history.
He totaled 12,120 yards and won four Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s. He initiated the Steelers dynasty when he caught a last-second pass from Bradshaw in a playoff game against the Oakland Raiders in 1972.
Harris ended his career as the NFL’s third all-time leading rusher behind Walter Payton and Jim Brown.
Harris leaves behind his wife Dana Dokmanovich and son, Dok.