49ers great Clark dies after battle with ALS

June 5 2018 2:24 AM

Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Dwight Clark died on Monday after a battle with ALS.

Clark's wife, Kelly, posted the news on his Twitter account. She said he "passed peacefully surrounded by many of the people he loved most".

He was 61 years old.

Clark was selected by the 49ers in the 10th round of the 1979 NFL Draft. He spent all nine of his NFL seasons with the team, racking up 6,750 receiving yards and 48 touchdowns.

Clark is best known for pulling in the winning touchdown pass from Joe Montana in the 1982 conference championship game. The play led the 49ers to a victory over the Cowboys and became known simply as 'The Catch'.

He first began experiencing symptoms of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, in September 2015, according to a report by NBC Sports. He publicly announced he was battling the disease in March 2017.  

Former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo released a statement on Monday regarding Clark's passing, via NBC Sports.

"My heart is broken. Today, I lost my little brother and one of my best friends. I cannot put into words how special Dwight was to me and to everyone his life touched," he said.

"He was an amazing husband, father, grandfather, brother and a great friend and team-mate. He showed tremendous courage and dignity in his battle with ALS and we hope there will soon be a cure for this horrendous disease.

"I will always remember Dwight the way he was – larger than life, handsome, charismatic and the only one who could pull off wearing a fur coat at our Super Bowl parade.

"He was responsible for one of the most iconic plays in NFL history that began our run of Super Bowl championships, but to me, he will always be an extension of my family. I love him and will miss him terribly.

"Our hearts and prayers are with his wife Kelly, his children and the entire Clark family."

Clark won two Super Bowls and his number 87 is retired by the 49ers.

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