Floyd Little dead – NFL Hall of Famer dies at 78 from 'rare' cell cancer after starring with Denver Broncos

DENVER Broncos legend and Hall of Famer Floyd Little passed away Friday night at the age of 78.

The star football player was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 2010 after having amassed over 12,0000 all-purpose yards and scoring 54 touchdowns in his career, spanning from 1967 to 1975.

"Floyd Little was a true hero of the game. He was a man of great integrity, passion and courage," Hall of Fame President and CEO David Baker said. "His contributions off the field were even greater than his amazing accomplishments he did on it."

"Floyd's smile, heart and character epitomized what it meant to have a Hall of Fame life. Our thoughts and prayers are with Floyd's wife, DeBorah, and their entire family," he continued.

"We will forever keep his legacy alive to serve as inspiration for future generations. The Hall of Fame flag will be flown at half-staff in Floyd's memory."

Little died late Friday night following a battle with a rare form of cell cancer.

His son Mark Little announced the news in a tweet Saturday afternoon.

"On January 1, 2021, my best friend, my father, met Jesus Christ. I cannot be more happy for him. I will miss him more than I can fathom," Little wrote. "I was blessed to have Floyd Little as my father. I am the luckiest son in the world."

Hundreds of users outpoured their condolences on Little's tweet, telling him how much of an impact his father had on their lives and what a great man he was.

Attached to Little's tweet included a small statement reading Little's fight with cancer.

"After nearly a year of confronting, even battling cancer, the beloved hero, brother, uncle, grandfather, father and husband, Pro Football Hall of Famer, Denver Bronco, and Syracuse #44 Legend, Floyd D. Little ran his last mile, gracefully bowed his head, and met his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ," it read.

"Floyd Little passed away early in the evening on January 1, 2021 at home in Las Vegas with his wife DeBorah Little at his side," the statement continued. "Little, born in Waterbury, Connecticut, was 78. The family extends their gratitude to all who have supported Floyd Little and his family during this time with prayers, calls, and your heartfelt expressions of love."

Former Syracuse teammate Patrick Killorin announced Little had been diagnosed with the rare form of cell cancer at the end of May. In November, Killorin said Little was placed in hospice care.

Little was known as "The Franchise" and will go down in Broncos history for his amazing rushing and stats.

In 1967, he became the Broncos' first-ever first-round draft pick to sign with the team, and ended his career in 1975 as the seventh-leading rusher in NFL history with 6,323 yards. He also led the entire league in combined yards in 1967 and 1968.

Although the Broncos only had two winning seasons during his career, Little was selected to five Pro Bowls, and became the first player in 1971 to lead the league in rushing while on a last-place team, finishing with 1,133 yards.

Little is highly regarded at his college at Syracuse as well.

He was a three-time All-American at Syracuse and is enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame. He worked in Syracuse's athletic department from 2011 to 2016, and was given an honorary doctorate degree from the school in 2016.

Little's number 44 jersey is one of three numbers retired by the Broncos, and in 1984, he became part of the franchise's first Ring of Honor class.

More to follow…

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