Dwight Clark, who provided the defining moment for the San Francisco 49ers franchise more than three decades ago, died Monday at his home in Montana, Matt Maiocco of NBC Bayarea reports. He was 61.
Clark’s wife, Kelly, posted the news of her husband’s death on social media:
“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.”
Former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo issued a statement:
“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 was an amazing husband, father, grandfather, brother and a great friend and teammate. 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 battled amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, since first experiencing symptoms in September 2015. Clark personally informed many friends and close associates of his diagnosis long before he made a public announcement of his condition on March 19, 2017.
“While I’m still trying to wrap my head around the challenge I will face with this disease over the coming y
ears, the only thing I know is that I’m going to fight like hell and live every day to the fullest,” Clark wrote in a statement at the time.