Sports

Former Steelers player, broadcaster Tunch Ilkin dies at 63

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2021-09-05 00:49:40 GMT+00:00 - Tunch Ilkin, a former Pittsburgh Steelers player and broadcaster, died Saturday morning after a battle with ALS. He was 63.

"We are heartbroken by the passing of Tunch Ilkin. He was a man of faith who dedicated his entire life to being a devout Christian and family man," read a statement issued by Steelers president Art Rooney II.

"He was loved by his family, teammates and friends. We were fortunate to have Tunch as a player and broadcaster for so many years. Our condolences to his entire family during this difficult time."

A sixth-round pick of the Steelers in 1980, he played all but one of his 177 career games with Pittsburgh.

He started in 143 of those games, playing primarily at right tackle. He was a two-time Pro Bowl selection.

Ilkin joined the Steelers' broadcast team in 1998, becoming the lead color analyst after Myron Cope retired following the 2004 season.

"Today we lost an incredible man with the passing of Tunch Ilkin," Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin tweeted. "Tunch was special, someone who impacted everyone he came in contact with, myself included. He loved his family, lived his faith, and serving others was his passion. My prayers go out to his family."

Ilkin revealed his ALS diagnosis last fall and finished out the season as the Steelers lost to the Cleveland Browns in a January playoff game. He announced his retirement in June.

In July, Ilkin was named to the Steelers' Hall of Honor. The induction ceremony will be in November.

--Field Level Media

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