SANTA CLARA (KRON) – Today the San Francisco 49ers celebrate Dwight Clark Day at training camp. The man responsible for the famous NFL play, “The Catch.”
The day featured various activations to honor Clark’s legacy.
49ers legend Dwight Clark passed away last year at the age of 61. Clark was diagnosed with ALS, in March of 2017.
According to the ALS organization, 15 people are diagnosed with ALS each day and as many as 30,000 Americans may currently be affected.
Clark was an All Pro, two-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion.
Members throughout the organization discussed the impact Clark made within the 49ers.
49ers President Al Guido smiled bright when remembering his legacy.
“To the organization obviously, he’s one of the most beloved players. To have him go through what he went through those last couple year was really tough on all of us,” Guido said.
“But what I think what it did, is it brought all the Alumni together in a way that they probably weren’t before and it helped launched the Golden Heart Fund which is an organization, a nonprofit, that really supports all of our Alumni players.”
The Golden Heart fund was established in 2016 by the 49ers Alumni. The fund is an organization created to serve current and future 49ers alumni who are in need of financial, medical, psychological or emotional support.
Former 49er and teammate of Clark, Rob Ferrari, choked up when remembering his brother and what he did for San Francisco.
“We always miss our brother. I wish he was here,” Ferarri said as he fought back tears.
“What Dwight really wanted to make sure is we take care of our players. Ya know, we couldn’t take care of him but we could take care of them.”
The Golden Heart Fund has given out 30 grants and raised roughly two and a half million dollars to those in need.
The day was filled with giving back to the organization, visiting with fans who’ve been impacted by ALS and remembering the 49er.
Al Guido discussed how the 49ers will permanently have a spot on the field for Clark to remember his legacy.
“At the stadium we’re going to have the logo completely fixed. This year we’re going to announce his logo (No.87) will permanently be there (in the end zone) for the remainder of our time at Levis Stadium.”
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo spoke about The Catch saying, “It’s a once in a lifetime play.”
Even though the quarterback didn’t have a chance to meet Clark, he knew he was something special.
“The energy he brought, it sounded like it was contagious. I would have loved to have had the chance to meet him. It sounds like he made a real impact on this organization.”
If you would like to donate, click on the Golden Heart Fund.