In a piece of shocking news, former NFL running back Franco Harris died on December 20th, 2022. He played for Pittsburgh Steelers from 1972-1983 and then he signed with Seattle Seahawks in 1984. He is a 4-time Superbowl champion and was awarded the NFL Man of the Year in 1976. He retired after playing just one season with the Seahawks in 1984.
The legendary player’s death comes as a shock to many. According to a report from FOX Sports, Franco Harris was doing media scrums just mere hours before his death. He appeared on the Mad Dog Sports Radio programming to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his famous “Immaculate Reception.” Franco even told the listeners that he was in a good shape during the programming.
But, tragedy struck when the 72-year-old was found dead later. Fans may wonder about the reason behind Franco’s passing. However, there is no clarity on what ultimately happened.
Associated Press revealed that they had a chance to speak to Harris’ son Franco “Dok” Harris after the tragedy. Although he did not reveal the exact reason behind his father’s death, he stated that he was found dead “overnight.” But Economics Times later reported that Harris died of “natural causes.”
Tributes pour in for Franco Harris after his sudden passing
There is no doubt that Franco Harris was one of the best players in NFL history. Harris certainly held a special place in the heart of the fans and his brilliance is still pretty much alive in the minds of the fans even after 50 years of the game. The Pittsburgh Steelers were going to honor him by retiring his no. 32 jersey during the half-time of their match against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Although the ceremony is still set to go on as planned, there will be a sense of sadness during the proceedings. However, it will be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the successful life of one of the best running back in the league’s history. Ever since the news broke, fans are sharing their thoughts and prayers for Franco’s family and left some heartfelt tributes for the late superstar.
Here are some fan reactions to Franco Harris’ passing
Franco Harris is known for the glory he brought to football. But I knew him for his character and compassion – someone who spent time with my boys after we lost my first wife and infant daughter.— President Biden (@POTUS) December 21, 2022
May God bless Franco Harris, a dear friend of 50 years and a great American. pic.twitter.com/YhOYr3a4IM
Arriving in Pittsburgh for the 50th Anniversary of the “Immaculate Reception” Franco Harris Jersey retirement celebration at half time,unfortunately we will be without Franco,,unbelievably sad. RIP HOFer Franco Harris…Football fans everywhere will miss you. @steelers pic.twitter.com/zhLdFzhe7b— Steve Mariucci (@SteveMariucci) December 22, 2022
Rest in peace, Franco Harris. A hero on and off the field. Franco’s Italian Army will be waving our Terrible Towels tonight in tribute to a great man. pic.twitter.com/s2Nto4p7xK— Tom Morello (@tmorello) December 21, 2022
As great of a player Franco Harris was and making the greatest play in NFL History, he was a better human–and that is what I will miss.— Merril Hoge (@merrilhoge) December 21, 2022
He is the centerpiece of a city and a franchise that will never forget him. Love you Franco, RIP! pic.twitter.com/3b43nwEOSy
i met Franco Harris. it was at a very young age in my football career. he said to me i have what it takes to be a great football player. im just grateful he took the time to say something to encourage me to become a better person + player. Thank you 🐐.— Darrelle Revis (@Revis24) December 21, 2022
rest in paradise. #32 pic.twitter.com/VIeZRQVYvs
I grew up watching Franco Harris, and had the honor of getting to know him years later. He was an extraordinary man on and off the field, and will be missed. Our thoughts go out to his family and all of Steeler Nation.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 21, 2022
Today we lost a legend and an incredible human being in Franco Harris. He epitomized what it meant to be a Steeler and a leader in the Pittsburgh community. Franco brought joy to everyone he was around and he will be missed. pic.twitter.com/YmMgwHqzno— Ryan Shazier (@RyanShazier) December 21, 2022
Franco Harris was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990. In his 13 years in the league, he had a total touchdown of 100. He also had 8 seasons where he had a 1000-yards of rushing. In total, he had 12,120 rushing yards in his entire career. He played college football for Penn State and was drafted to the NFL in the 1st round and was the 13th pick in 1972.