Steelers broadcaster, former player Tunch Ilkin retiring to focus on ALS treatment

PITTSBURGH — Longtime Steelers broadcaster and former player Tunch Ilkin announced he is retiring to focus on treatment for ALS.

Commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease, Ilkin learned of his diagnosis last October. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease which attacks motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in the wasting away of muscle and loss of movement.

>>>RELATED: Former Steeler Tunch Ilkin diagnosed with ALS

According to the Steelers, Ilkin was a two-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle and played 14 seasons in the NFL. He’s spent the last 23 years behind the radio microphone.

The team said he’s fighting back against the disease through chiropractor visits and training with a special underwater treadmill several days each week.

“I just had fun. I had fun, I worked with two legends – Bill Hillgrove and Myron Cope – and I had fun with those guys. And when the Steelers open the regular season (against Buffalo), you can bet I’ll be watching the game,” Ilkin said in a news release.