(CNN)Former Denver Broncos running back Floyd Little died Friday at the age of 78, according to his family.
"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," according to a family statement released Saturday.
Little played his entire nine-year NFL career with the Broncos, having been selected sixth in the 1967 AFL-NFL draft. In Denver, he was given the nickname, "The Franchise" and was elected team captain as a rookie.
"Floyd Little put #BroncosCountry on the map," the team posted on Twitter.
Little rushed for more than 6,000 yards and scored 43 touchdowns for the Broncos.
His best season was 1971 when he won the NFL rushing title with 1,133 yards while playing on a team that finished last in its division with a record of 4-9-1.
Little made the Pro Bowl five times and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
In his Hall of Fame induction speech, he urged listeners to never give up on their dreams.
"Because of those that encouraged me in those early years, I am here today. So, I want to encourage you, every student, every athlete, every person who will hear my voice, don't listen to