Former Clemson and San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Dwight Clark died Monday evening after a long battle with ALS. He was 61 years old.
Clark’s wife, Kelly, announced via Twitter that he passed away Monday.
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 Clark.
— Dwight Clark (@DwightC87) June 4, 2018
Clark has remained a household name among big NFL fans until today because of his famous game-winning catch in the 1982 NFC Championship Game.
With under a minute left in the game, the San Francisco 49ers faced a third-and-3 from the Cowboys 6-yard line. On the next play, quarterback Joe Montana couldn’t find an open receiver and rolled out to give him extra time. Finally, he appeared to be throwing the ball away, but Montana’s pass found Clark in the corner of the end zone. That tied the game, and the extra point gave the 49ers a 28-27 victory.
Clark’s heroics, which is simply called “The Catch,” in many ways marked the end of the Dallas Cowboys’ reign in the NFC and the beginning of the 49ers’ dynasty. Two weeks after his catch, San Francisco won its first Super Bowl against the Cincinnati Bengals. The 49ers would win four Super Bowls in the 1980s and five championships in a 14-year span.
Clark played nine years, winning two Super Bowls, in the NFL, all of which were with the 49ers. He finished his career with 506 catches, 6,750 yards and 48 touchdowns. Clark led the league with 60 catches made the All-Pro team in 1982.
He played at Clemson from 1976-78. Clark recorded 33 receptions, 571 yards and 3 scores with the Tigers.