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Last Updated: Monday, 6 February 2006, 03:48 GMT
Bettis savours Super Bowl triumph
Jerome Bettis
Bettis celebrates Pittsburgh's win over Seattle
Veteran Pittsburgh running back Jerome Bettis ended his NFL career on a high as the Steelers beat Seattle 21-10 in Super Bowl XL in his home city Detroit.

'The Bus' confirmed he had played his last game, saying his decision was "official like the referee's whistle".

He said: "It's been an incredible ride. I came back (to Detroit) to win a championship - mission accomplished.

"My team-mates were tremendous. They put me on their back and wouldn't let me down. Now I have to bid farewell."

Bettis, who joined the Steelers from the St Louis Rams in 1996, added: "I'm the happiest person in the world. It's all over - there aren't any games left."

Pittsburgh are now tied with San Francisco and Dallas on five Super Bowl wins after taking four titles between 1975 and 1980.

Coach Bill Cowher - the NFL's longest-serving active coach with one team - was keen to share the glory of Pittsburgh's triumph.

Bill Cowher
Our effort today made history and that is what is special to me
Steelers coach Bill Cowher

Cowher, in his 14th season as Steelers boss, said: "This is a special group of coaches, a special group of players. I was one small part of this."

He had previously taken Pittsburgh to the 1996 Super Bowl, where they lost to Dallas.

"I've been waiting a long time," he said holding the Vince Lombardi trophy.

"We're taking this baby back home and putting it in the trophy room."

Cowher added: "It's a rewarding feeling to give the trophy to (Steelers owner) Dan Rooney. That's what they brought me here to do.

"It really does complete a void that's been there."

Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger, 23, who became the youngest Super Bowl winning quarterback, admitted: "That was probably the most nervous I have been before any game.

"We couldn't get anything going early on, but we got the win and that's all that matters. I can't believe it's real right now."

Losing the Super Bowl is always going to be tough. It's always going to hurt,
Seattle head coach Mike Holmgren

Team-mate Hines Ward, named Super Bowl XL's MVP, added: "It was a wild ride. We kept proving the nay-sayers wrong. I'm at a loss for words. It's totally a dream come true."

The Steelers were the first sixth seed to reach the Super Bowl after road upsets of top AFC seeds Indianapolis, Denver and Cincinnati.

Seattle's Mike Holmgren saw his hopes of becoming the first man to coach to different teams to Super Bowl wins ended by Pittsburgh's triumph.

Holmgren, who guided Green Bay to victory in 1997, said: "It's a tough pill to swallow, but we accomplished a lot this year.

"While you don't feel great after a game like this, I want the team to remember this feeling so they can build on it."

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