Star Receiver’s Tearful Goodbye: 49ers Legend Announces Retirement

Star Receiver’s Tearful Goodbye: 49ers Legend Announces Retirement

San Francisco 49ers all-time great Dwight Clark, who made one of the most remarkable catches in National Football League history when he grabbed quarterback Joe Montana for a late touchdown in the 1981 NFC Championship Game, died Monday after a battle with ALS.

He was 61 years old.Clarkand’s wife, Kelly, announced her husband’s death on Twitter, saying Clarkand’s life ended surrounded by loved ones.andquot;I thank all of Dwight’s friends, teammates and 49ers fans who sent their love during his battle with ALS,andquot; wrote Clark.A native of Kinston, North Carolina, who played college football at Clemson, Clark was selected by the 49ers in the 10th round of the 1979 NFL Draft.

Along with other 49ers greats such as Montana, Jerry Rice, Keena Turner, Ronnie Lott and Fred Dean, Clark would become one of the central figures of the 49ersand#039; Legendary teams of the 1980s. During a career with the 49ers that lasted from 1979 until his retirement in 1987, Clark won Super Bowl XVI and Super Bowl XIX and led the National Football League in rushing during the 1982 season. 49ers.Immediately after the news of Clarkand’s death, there was an outpouring of support from former and current members of the 49ers, as well as players in the league who grew up watching and admiring Clark.

Clark was undoubtedly beloved by his teammates: Last month, a lengthy report by Sports Illustrated’s Chris Ballard documented that many of Clarkand#039;s 49ers teammates made the trek to Clarkand’s ranch in April, knowing full well it was coming . . probably the last time they saw Clark. The 49ers honored Clark during the 2017 season with the Dwight Clark Dayandquote, which was attended by many 49ers alumni.

Here’s a look at the reaction to Dwight Clark’s departure.Clark was drafted by the 49ers in 1979, two years after Eddie DeBartolo Jr. bought the team. Under DeBartolo, the 49ers rose from an otherwise nameless NFL franchise to one of the greatest, with a period of dominance that spanned the 1980s and 1990s. Clark was DeBartoloand#039; one of the most important players, and it was DeBartolo who arranged the last trip of the 49ers to Clark in April, as Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated reported.

By the time Jerry Rice was drafted by the 49ers in 1985, Clark had established himself as the 49ersand#039; the most visible wide receiver. Together, the 49ers would be a powerhouse, even if they never played on the same Super Bowl-winning team (Rice’s first Super Bowl win came in Super Bowl XXIII, the year after Clark retired). Rice passed Clark on his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but Clarkand’s impact on the former 49ers rookie has not been forgotten.Former 49ers quarterback Garrison Hearst came to San Francisco after Clarkand: Hearst played for the 49ers from 1997-98 and then again from 2001-03.

Every player who comes through San Francisco, on the other hand, respects Clark. for contribution to the team. Hearstand#039’s breakout year in 1998 was overshadowed by a horrific ankle injury in the playoffs that sidelined him for two years. He returned in 2001 and won NFL Comeback Player of the Year.One of the current 49ers to respond to Clarkand#039’s death, Staley has served the 49ers honorably since 2007, making six Pro Bowls and earning second-team All-Pro honors three times. Staley is now poised to join Clark as the team’s all-time greats..

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