Pennsylvania, USA, December 21, 2022. Franco Harris, whose ingenuity came up with “The Immaculate Reception,” considered one of the most iconic plays in NFL history, has passed away. He was 72 years old.
Harris’s son, Doc, told The Associated Press that his father died Tuesday night. The cause of death was not disclosed.
His death comes two days before the 50th anniversary of a play that was pivotal to the Steelers’ leap to becoming one of the NFL’s elite teams, and three days before Pittsburgh retired his No. 32 during halftime of the game. A ceremony was scheduled to retire. Las Vegas Raiders.
Football Hall of Fame President Jim Porter said, “We have lost an incredible player, an incredible Hall of Fame ambassador, and most importantly, the greatest gentleman.” “Franco not only had an impact on the game, but he impacted the lives of so many people in a very positive way.”
Harris had 12,120 yards and won four Super Bowl rings with the Steelers during the 1970s, a dynasty that began in earnest when Harris threw to Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw in a 1972 playoff game against Oakland.
Pittsburgh trailing 7–6, on 4th and 10 from their own 40-yard line and with 22 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Bradshaw dropped back and threw deep to running back Frenchie Fuqua. Fuqua and Oakland defensive back Jack Tatum collided, the ball floating just above Three Rivers Stadium’s synthetic surface. Harris caught it at the Oakland 45 and ran through several Raiders defenders into the end zone, to give the Steelers their first playoff win in four decades of playoff history.