Fellow 49ers bid farewell to football legend Dwight Clark

- Former San Francisco 49er teammates, coaches, family and friends gathered at Grace Cathedral to remember Dwight Clark, a football legend who always considered himself just a regular guy.

"He had great charisma. Good looks and that Southern drawl. He could charm anyone. People loved being around him. And he loved being around them," said Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana who was one of the keynote speakers.

Clark became beloved in the Bay Area for his iconic soaring championship-winning touchdown reception from Montana. It sealed his status as a true football hero. That play is known simply as "the catch."

"He would always say to me, you know they don't call it the throw," said Montana to laughter.

But while the catch may have defined him to fans, those who knew Clark say it did not come close to defining who we was as a person.

"Dwight Clark as loyal to every person he knew. If you met him once you felt you knew him his entire life," said former team owner Eddie DeBartolo.

"The most important words he said to me were when he asked me if i knew what humble meant. I said yes," recalled Clark's young niece Meredith Matsumoto.

"He was more of a fourth kid rather than dad. That was the best part," said Clarks' grown daughter Casey Harrold.

But Clark's charmed life took a tragic turn. He was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease. The 49ers honored him at halftime of a game last fall, Clark's final farewell to fans. 

"I sat there and watched my ex-teammate and friend dwindle away and become a shadow of himself," said Montana.

"ALS took a lot from Dwight Clark. But not his spirit," said DeBartolo.

In a moving moment toward the end of Wednesday's celebration his former teammates and coaches lined up side by side in tribute.

"The impact of a life well lived can have on so many people. In a profession as rough and cut throat as professional football. It just speaks to the man off the field," said former tight end Brent Jones.

ALS took Dwight Clark's life about two months ago in Montana. He was 61-years-old.

"How many of us can say that our best moments were as magnificent as his," said DeBartolo.
 

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