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NFL: Steelers broadcaster, former player Tunch Ilkin retires due to ALS fight

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Tunch Ilkin, a former player and longtime Pittsburgh Steelers broadcaster, is stepping down from his announcing post to focus on his fight with ALS.

Ilkin, 63, a color analyst on radio broadcasts, announced his retirement Thursday in a statement released by the team.

“I want to spend this time focusing on my treatment and fighting this disease,” he said in the statement. “I would like to thank Steelers president Art Rooney II, the Steelers organization and the fans for their continued support and prayers at this 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, and was a two-time Pro Bowl selection.

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

He announced his ALS diagnosis in September and finished the season as the Steelers lost to the Cleveland Browns in a January playoff game.

The Steelers did not immediately announce any plans for the broadcast now led by Bill Hillgrove and Craig Wolfley.

–Field Level Media

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