By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As the news of Tunch Ilkin’s passing made waves through the sports world, Steeler Nation shared several messages with kind words and condolences about the former player and broadcaster.
Mr. Ilkin will forever be a part of #Pittsburgh.
— City of Pittsburgh (@Pittsburgh) September 4, 2021
Steelers defensive end Cam Hayward shared a message on Instagram, saying “we lost a heck of a person but God gained an unbelievable angel.”
Former Steelers players Brett Keisel and Ramon Foster were also among those to wish condolences and share messages.
We lost a Great one
Rest in Paradise my friend 🙏 pic.twitter.com/EvBJSUKfzl
— Brett Keisel (@bkeisel99) September 4, 2021
What?! 😔🖤💛. A great man! Rest In Peace Tunch. Helped push the technique of lineman punching and using their hands. The Tunch Punch! https://t.co/j7plaP7ppQ
— Ramon Foster (@RamonFoster) September 4, 2021
Charlie Batch shared a photo of himself along with Tunch Ilkin and Bill Hillgrove, saying that it was an honor to share the booth with him last year for two games.
Thank you for taking a youngin like me under your wing and showing me how to do things the right way. It was an honor to share the booth with you and Bill for two games last year. You will be truly missed. Love you Bro pic.twitter.com/KWWQK53471
— Charlie Batch (@CharlieBatch16) September 4, 2021
“A great player but a better person,” said Rod Woodson on Twitter.
— Rod Woodson (@RodWoodson26) September 4, 2021
Current Steelers lineman Zach Banner posted on Twitter, saying “Rest in love.”
Rest in love my friend… 🖤💛 pic.twitter.com/qtQMkbAhb0
— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) September 4, 2021
On Saturday afternoon, the Steelers released a statement, saying “We are heartbroken by the passing of Tunch Ilkin” as well as noting is faith and his passion for football, wishing condolences to his family.
Statement from Steelers President Art Rooney II on the passing of Tunch Ilkin: pic.twitter.com/fdjFz9rI23
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 4, 2021
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald called it “a sad day for Pittsburgh,” noting Ilkin’s work with the Light of Life mission and his work helping the homeless.
Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin tweeted that the loss of Ilkin was the loss of “an incredible man.”
Today we lost an incredible man with the passing of Tunch Ilkin. 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.
— Mike Tomlin (@CoachTomlin) September 4, 2021
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto was among those paying his respects to Tunch, saying, “May we all live a life as fulfilling as Tunch.”
May we all live a life as fulfilling as Tunch. pic.twitter.com/qw1wYhrvnt
— bill peduto (@billpeduto) September 4, 2021
On Instagram, Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert said that he’s a better person because of Tunch.