The Pittsburgh Steelers fan base mourns the loss of Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris who passed away suddenly Wednesday at the age of 72. While the NFL landscape remembers the player who helped orchestrate the most famous play in the history of the game, the Immaculate Reception, both current and former players of the black-and-gold are remembering the man affectionately known as Franco in their own way.
Both current and former players of the Steelers have taken to social media to pay their respects, and remember Harris in their own way. Some strictly as knowing the history of the game, while others share personal stories on how Harris helped shape their career in some way.
Harris was an icon, a legend both on the team and in the community. He will be missed deeply, especially Saturday night when the organization doesn’t just celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, but also retires Harris’ iconic No. 32 jersey.
Check out what players are saying on social media, and be sure to check back as this will be updated as more players share their thoughts and memories.
Today we lost a Legend, not just on the field, but even more so off. Franco always had a smile and a hand shake or a hug for everyone, it seemed. Thank you for being a role model for us all! -- Ben. pic.twitter.com/MqHRD2tgAv— BigBen7.com (@_BigBen7) December 21, 2022
Words can’t begin to describe the pain I am feeling. Franco will always be a brother, mentor and my definition of greatness. He was a legend on the field and the personification of excellence off of the field– A true class act to look up to and aspire to be like. RIP #32 pic.twitter.com/WOYU4qCZDP— Jerome Bettis (@JeromeBettis36) December 21, 2022
To the man who announced me as a Pittsburgh Steeler, May you Rest in Peace. Very thankful for our friendship and you always being there for me when I needed it. Penn State and Steeler Legend forever. May your legacy live on forever. RIP 32. pic.twitter.com/95ajLaiD7M— Pat Freiermuth (@pat_fry5) 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
We have lost an Icon in Franco Harris. He embodied Pgh in his Grace, Humility, & Sense of Pride. He was a Champion on the Field & Ambassador off it. Thank you Franco for setting the standard that we all strive to achieve as a Professional & as a Person. RIP & condolences to Dana. pic.twitter.com/3GtCgOpeOW— Bill Cowher (@CowherCBS) December 21, 2022
Woke up this morning to the devastating news that my friend Franco Harris passed away during the night. One of the kindest, gentlest men I have ever known. He was a great person & great teammate. Hall of Fame player but so much more than that. A tremendous role model for me! pic.twitter.com/OswJ82x7I1— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) December 21, 2022
"Death is such sorrow, but at the same time, we celebrate death because we know he's going to Heaven with all of our Steelers teammates. Will he be missed? Certainly. But we will celebrate him, and the Italian Stallion is going to a better place." -- Terry Bradshaw on @gmfb— Peter Schrager (@PSchrags) December 21, 2022
Steeler Nation is going to be hurting this week. On the weekend of the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception and the holidays too. pic.twitter.com/eXwQzh9JRB— Ramon Foster (@RamonFoster) December 21, 2022
We are saddened to hear the sudden loss of one of own. Franco Harris has always embodied what it means to be a Nittany Lion. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends through this time— Penn State Athletics (@GoPSUsports) December 21, 2022
: https://t.co/54SkP9A8XD pic.twitter.com/lIZETqm5JU
Legendary guy both on and off the field. You will be missed. RIP Franco Harris pic.twitter.com/TIzOwWSVG0— Arthur Moats (@dabody52) December 21, 2022
Wow sad sad day in Pittsburgh. An amazing player but an even better person RIP. https://t.co/sv3rZ9tS2l— Vince Williams (@VinnyVidiVici98) December 21, 2022
Long live the Legend Franco Harris. Franco is Pittsburgh! I’m honored to have known him. Sending love and prayers to his family and the community— James Conner (@JamesConner_) December 21, 2022
My heart hurts hearing about Franco.— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) December 21, 2022
One thing he did was love the Burgh and the community. He lived in the city. Made himself available to all types of people. I looked up to him. He was one of my Pittsburgh Idols.
Still is. And always will be…
I want u 2 realize how many people from the 412 talk about how good of a man Franco was. Football accolades and achievements will always fall into history books and out of minds. But those touching connections with people and families live forever…— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) December 21, 2022
I idolize his legacy as a man
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
Franco was a guy, a cool guy ! Much respect to him and his family! Prayers for the family and all of steeler nation!— 5⃣Roosevelt nix (@Dat_Dude_Nix) December 21, 2022