The Steelers announced on Tuesday that the team will retire Franco Harris' Number '32' in a halftime ceremony on December 24, when the team hosts the Las Vegas Raiders at Acrisure Stadium. That weekend the Steelers will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Immaculate Reception.
"I am thrilled we are going to honor Franco with this recognition by retiring his No. 32 jersey," said Steelers President Art Rooney II. "This is the 50th anniversary of one of the most memorable plays in NFL history; one that changed the course of our success with his 'Immaculate Reception' in 1972. My Grandfather was once quoted as saying: 'Before Franco got here, we didn't win much, since he got here, we don't lose.' I think that sums it up pretty good. Franco's impact on the franchise would be hard to overstate. That is why I think it is fitting and appropriate that we recognize Franco's remarkable career by retiring his Number 32 at our game on December 24."
Throughout his 12-year career in Pittsburgh, Harris was part of four Super Bowl championship teams and was named MVP of Super Bowl IX after finishing with 158 yards rushing with a nine-yard TD run against the Minnesota Vikings. His 158 yards rushing and 34 attempts were Super Bowl records at the time. Harris was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Steelers' Hall of Honor in 2017.
The Steelers' first round NFL Draft pick in 1972 out of Penn State, Harris would be named the League's Offensive Rookie of the Year that season. He was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection, a first-team All-Pro in 1977 and two-time second-team All-Pro (1972, 1975), and led the NFL in rushing touchdowns in 1976.
Harris was a member of the Steelers' All-Time Team and the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1970s. He was named the NFL's Man of the Year in 1976.
Harris' Number '32' has not been issued by the Steelers since his last season in Pittsburgh in 1982. The Steelers now have three jersey numbers retired, including Ernie Stautner (#70) and Joe Greene (#75).