09/05/2021 12:49:40 GMT + 00: 00 – Tunch Ilkin, a former Pittsburgh Steelers player and broadcaster, died Saturday morning after a fight with ALS. He was 63.
“The death of Tunch Ilkin is heartbreaking. He was a man of faith who devoted his whole life to being a devout Christian and a father,” said a statement by Steelers President Art Rooney II.
“He was loved by his family, teammates and friends. We have been fortunate to have Tunch as a player and broadcaster for so many years. Our condolences go out to all of his family at this difficult time.”
In 1980 he was a six-round pick for the Steelers and played all but one of his 177 career games with Pittsburgh.
He started in 143 of these games and mostly played with the right tackle. He was a two-time Pro Bowl pick.
Ilkin joined the Steelers’ broadcast team in 1998 and became the lead color analyst after Myron Cope retired after the 2004 season.
“Today we lost an incredible man with the death of Tunch Ilkin,” tweeted Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin. “Tunch was special, someone who influenced everyone he came in contact with, including me. He loved his family, lived his faith, and was passionate about serving others. My prayers are for his family.”
Ilkin announced his diagnosis of ALS last fall and ended the season when the Steelers lost to the Cleveland Browns in a playoff game in January. In June he announced his resignation.
In July, Ilkin was inducted into the Steelers Hall of Honor. The induction ceremony will take place in November.
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