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Bennie Cunningham
refer to caption
Cunningham at Clemson in 1975
No. 89
Position:Tight end
Personal information
Born:(1954-12-23)December 23, 1954
Laurens, South Carolina, U.S.
Died:April 23, 2018(2018-04-23) (aged 63)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Height:6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight:254 lb (115 kg)
Career information
High school:Seneca (Seneca, South Carolina)
NFL Draft:1976 / Round: 1 / Pick: 28
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receiving yards:2,879
Receiving touchdowns:20
Games played:118
Player stats at · PFR

Bennie Lee Cunningham, Jr. (December 23, 1954 – April 23, 2018[1]) was an American professional football player who was a tight end for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). Cunningham was selected out of the Clemson University in the 1976 NFL Draft by the Steelers.[2] During his career, he played in 118 games and caught 202 receptions for 2,879 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Cunningham's most famous play in the NFL was a game-winning touchdown in a Pittsburgh home game versus divisional rival Cleveland on September 24, 1978. It came on a flea-flicker play, culminating in a pass from Terry Bradshaw to Cunningham, who caught the ball in the back right corner of the end zone. It gave the Steelers a dramatic 15–9 victory over the Browns in sudden-death overtime.

On April 23, 2018, Cunningham died at age 63 at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, where he had been fighting cancer for about three months.


  1. ^ Matt Connolly, "Former Clemson, Steelers great Bennie Cunningham dies from cancer", The State, April 23, 2018
  2. ^ "Bennie Cunningham Stats, Height, Weight, Position, Draft, College". Retrieved February 24, 2023.