A key Pittsburgh Steelers player in a play that was dubbed "The Immaculate Reception" by Pittsburgh sportscaster Myron Cope in the 1972 playoff game against the Oakland Raiders died.

Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris, whose heads-up thinking authored "The Immaculate Reception," died Dec. 20, 2022, at the age of 72, via USA Today.

Harris' son Dok told The Associated Press his father passed away overnight. No cause of death was given.

Considered the most iconic play in NFL history, Harris’ passing occurred a few days before the Steelers were set to retire his #32 jersey on the 50th anniversary of "The Immaculate Reception" Saturday night during a ceremony at halftime of the Steelers and Las Vegas Raiders game.

“That play really represents our teams of the ’70s,” mentioned the 6-foot-2 230-pound running back after the ”Immaculate Reception” was voted the greatest play in NFL history during the league’s 100th anniversary season in 2020, according to USA Today.

The four-time Super Bowl champion ran for 12,120 yards and was a nine-time Pro-Bowl selection with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s. Harris also rushed for more than 1,000 yards in eight seasons, breaking a record set by Jim Brown. Paired with a defense nicknamed "The Steel Curtain," Pittsburgh became a dynasty behind the arm of Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw and the legs of the Fort Dix, New Jersey native.

Harris played one year with the Seattle Seahawks in 1984, after spending 12 years and the majority of his career wearing black and gold. The 1972 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year ran for just 170 yards in eight games before being released midseason with the Seahawks.

Harris retired as the NFL’s third all-time leading rusher behind Walter Payton and Jim Brown.

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