San Francisco 49ers Legend Dwight Clark Dies At 61

By John Carlo A. Villaruel
on Jun 07, 2018 11:39 PM EDT
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Dwight Clark dies at 61
San Francisco 49ers legend Dwight Clark, known for the iconic NFL moment 'The Catch' died on Monday in Montana due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He was 61. (Photo : Flickr)

Two-time Super Bowl champion Dwight Clark, who played for nine seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, passed away on Monday in Montana.

Clark who led the 49ers to win the XVI and XIX editions of the Super Bowl was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2015. He revealed his condition to the public in March of last year. 

Kelly, the wife of the two-time All-Pro team member, announced his death on Twitter Monday afternoon.

"I'm heartbroken to tell you that today I lost my best friend and husband. He passed peacefully surrounded by many of the people he loved most. I am thankful for all of Dwight's friends, teammates and 49ers fans who have sent their love during his battle with ALS," Kelly posted.

Clark was recognized for being the receiver of the historic National Football League (NFL) moment known as "The Catch" in 1981. It can be recalled that Clark caught a six-yard pass from quarterback Joe Montana in the back end to help the 49ers beat the Dallas Cowboys 28-27 and steal the Super Bowl XVI crown.

The Bay Area Sports Hall of Famer had a phenomenal stint with the 49ers finishing his career with 506 receptions, 6750 yards, and 48 touchdowns in just 134 games.

Clark had his best season in 1981 when he had 85 catches, 1105 yards, and four touchdowns, which included the title-clinching touchdown. He matched his brilliant performance the next year when the Clemson Hall of Famer became the NFL's reception leader

In addition, Clark also helped the 49ers capture the Super Bowl XIX title when they blew past the Miami Dolphins 38-16 in the final round. For his contributions to the team, the organization retired Clark's no.87 jersey in 1988 becoming just the 12th player to have his number retired. During his playing tenure with the 49ers, Clark grabbed two Super Bowls as well as two Pro Bowl appearances and two All-Pro recognition.   

Among the players who had their number retired by the 49ers were Montana, Steve Young, John Brodie, Joe Perry, Jim Johnson, Hugh McElhenn, Ronnie Lott, and Charlie Krueger. Completing the list were Leo Nomellini, Bob St. Clair, Jerry Rice, team owner Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., and erstwhile head coach Bill Walsh.

Besides playing for the 49ers, Clark also assumed the position of team executive as well as being the General Manager and the Director of Football of Operations for the Cleveland Browns for three years.

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