NFL Broncos rushing legend Little dead at 78

Washington (AFP) –


Floyd Little, a legendary running back for the NFL's Denver Broncos, died Friday night at age 78 after a battle with cancer, the American Football Hall of Fame announced Saturday.

Little, nicknamed "The Franchise," was the first star player for the Broncos and from 1968-1973 had more yards from scrimmage than any other NFL player.

The five-time Pro Bowl player had nine NFL seasons, all with the Broncos, and accumulated 6,323 rushing yards on 1,641 carries, 215 receptions for 2,418 yards, 81 punt returns for 893 yards and 54 total touchdowns.

"Floyd Little was not only a Hall of Fame running back, he was a Hall of Fame person," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. "Faith, family and football were the pillars of his life.

"He worked to inspire many to be the best they could be."

Little's jersey number 44, was retired by the Broncos. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

After his career, Little was a treasured ambassador for the Broncos, the NFL and his alma mater, Syracuse University.

"Floyd Little was a true hero of the game," Hall of Fame president David Baker said. "He was a man of great integrity, passion and courage. His contributions off the field were even greater than his amazing accomplishments on it. Floyd's smile, heart and character epitomized what it meant to have a Hall of Fame life."