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John William "Frenchy" Fuqua (born September 12, 1946 in Detroit, Michiganmarker) is a former professional American football running back in the National Football League from 1969 to 1976. Fuqua played college football at Morgan State Universitymarker and was drafted in the eleventh round of the 1969 NFL Draft by the New York Giants.

The next season, Fuqua was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was while with the Steelers that Fuqua would become part of NFL history as the intended target for Terry Bradshaw's pass that resulted in the Immaculate Reception.

Fuqua nicknamed himself "The French Count". He is remembered for being one of the flashiest dressers in the NFL, and would occasionally appear in public wearing platform shoes having see-through heels that contained water and a live tropical fish selected from his aquarium to match the color of the day's outfit.

Over the course of his career, Fuqua played in 100 games, rushing for 3,031 yards and scoring 24 touchdowns. His best season was in 1970, his first with the Steelers, when he rushed for 691 yards and seven touchdowns. In this season, he set for a then Steelers single-game rushing record of 218 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles. This was later surpassed in 2006 by Willie Parker when he gained 223 yards against the Cleveland Browns.

Teammate Franco Harris had his fanclub "Franco's Italian Army", and Fuqua had "Frenchy's Foreign Legion".

In celebration of the 35th Anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, Fuqua has created a candy bar called the "The Immaculate Confection".


  1. 12/24/73 Sports Illustrated, People Section.

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