OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The long-running feud between Marcus Allen and the Raiders is over.
In a symbolic move after years of separation and harsh words, Allen lit the eternal flame honoring late owner Al Davis before the Raiders beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-31 on Sunday.
Davis' son, Mark, said Allen's return "meant a lot to my mom." He also said Allen "was the absolute true Raider."
The hostility between Allen and Al Davis simmered for almost three decades.
Allen spent 11 seasons with the Los Angeles Raiders from 1982-1992 and saw his role diminish in his final years with the franchise. At one point, Davis called him a "cancer" on the team.
Allen revived his career over five more seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and won AP Comeback Player of the Year in 1993. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003.
Allen declined comment through a Raiders spokesman.
"Throughout the annals of the Raiders history, the L.A. chapter was very unique," Davis said. "We had a lot of great players come through there. You think of the Howie Longs, the Branches, but Marcus was the leader of that whole group. He was the absolute true Raider. There are very few football players I've seen like him, that worked that hard."
Davis declined to discuss further details publicly, calling it a private family matter.
When Allen appeared to light the flame that rests on the upper corner of the concourse level, the public address announcer said, "Welcome home ... Marcus Allen." The Oakland Coliseum crowd gave Allen a standing ovation, and Allen waved to the crowd, smiling. The Raiders have had a former player or coach do the honors since Davis died last October.
Given the history between Davis and Allen, the running back was a somewhat surprising choice.