Longtime Steelers broadcaster retiring to fight ALS

Pittsburgh Steelers
Injured Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier, left, and former Steelers lineman and current broadcaster, Tunch Ilkin, embrace at an NFL football practice in Pittsburgh

AP/Keith Srakocic

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers radio analyst Tunch Ilkin is retiring to focus on his fight against ALS.

Ilkin, who played 14 years on the offensive line for the Steelers from 1980-1993 and spent the last 23 as a broadcaster for the team, announced his decision Thursday.

The 63-year-old Ilkin, a two-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman during his playing career, revealed his ALS diagnosis last fall but continued to work through the remainder of the 2020 season. ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“I want to spend this time focusing on my treatment and fighting this disease,” Ilkin said in a 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.”

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