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Former Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes officially retires with Steelers

Joe Rutter
| Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, 2:12 p.m.
Steelers receiver santonio Holmes catches the winning touchdown against Arizona during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLIII on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009, in Tampa, Fla.
Christopher Horner | Trib Total Media
Steelers receiver santonio Holmes catches the winning touchdown against Arizona during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLIII on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009, in Tampa, Fla.
Santonio Holmes makes a touchdown catch at Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, Fla., February 1, 2009.
Photo by Chaz Palla
Q4 32
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Santonio Holmes makes a touchdown catch at Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, Fla., February 1, 2009. Photo by Chaz Palla Q4 32

Three years after his last reception and eight years after he last played in Pittsburgh, Super Bowl XLIII MVP Santonio Holmes retired with the Steelers on Tuesday.

The Steelers held a retirement press conference for Holmes at UPMC Sports Performance Complex.

Holmes was introduced by Steelers president Art Rooney II, with general manager Kevin Colbert and coach Mike Tomlin watching nearby.

Holmes is best remembered for his toe-dragging catch in the back of the end zone with 35 seconds left in Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa.

The 6-yard touchdown reception lifted the Steelers to a 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, bringing the Steelers a sixth Lombardi Trophy.

"That last drive is something we'll all remember, and that last catch is something we'll never forget," Rooney II said.

On the winning drive, Holmes had four catches for 67 yards.

He finished with nine receptions for 131 yards.

Holmes said he and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger worked on the fade pass "all day, every day" during the season.

"Who would have thought that Super Bowl Sunday that would be the pass that was going to complete our season and put us back on top as Super Bowl champions?" Holmes said.

Holmes said he has "tons" of memorabilia in his house from the Super Bowl, including magazines with pictures of the catch.

"I spread them out on my desk to know that this was a great moment in time," Holmes said, "that the history will never be repeated and will never be forgotten."

Holmes spent the first four seasons of his nine-year career with the Steelers after becoming the team's first-round draft choice in 2006. In those four seasons, Holmes caught 235 passes for 3,835 yards and 20 touchdowns. He spent another four seasons with the New York Jets and ended his career with the Chicago Bears in 2014.

Holmes' foundation raises awareness for sickle cell disease. He hosted an event at AMF Noble Manors Lanes on Tuesday for the disease, which affects his son, Santonio Holmes III.

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jrutter@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.

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