Former San Francisco 49ers receiver Dwight Clark, best known for “The Catch” in the 1981 NFC Championship Game, was honored on Sunday in Levi’s Stadium during the 49ers game against the Cowboys. Clark, currently battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), gave an emotional speech at halftime, where he mentioned his ongoing battle with the crippling illness.
“I think you all know I’m going through a little thing right now. And I need your prayers and thoughts. I appreciate those that you’ve been giving me.”
Clark, 60, spoke for four minutes from a private box during the ceremony. Clark is currently confined to a wheelchair due to the effects of ALS, and his mobility has been declining since he announced that he had the disease back in March of this year.
Despite the illness, KNBR reported that Clark was extremely excited prior to the ceremony.
Former 49ers’ receiver Dwight Clark was spotted just before the game riding in a wheelchair and motoring through the bowels of Levi’s stadium. As he did, fans and stadium workers stood to one side and cheered him. Clark enjoyed the adulation and at one point stepped on the gas and sped ahead of his family with a smile gracing his face. The legendary Clark playfulness is fully in tact.
Clark mentioned that the 49ers organized the ceremony on Sunday partially at his own request: “So I could see them one more time.”
Clark was a former 10th NFL Draft pick out of Clemson back in 1979, and he was a two-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion with San Francisco. He retired from pro football after the 1987 season.
We wish Clark all the best going forward as he continues his battle.