March 17, 2018

49ers great Dwight Clark from 'The Catch' announces he has ALS

20 March 2017, 02:55 | Joan Schultz

49ers great Dwight Clark from 'The Catch' announces he has ALS

49ers great Dwight Clark from 'The Catch' announces he has ALS

Dwight Clark, whose 1982 touchdown catch in the back of the end zone is the most iconic moment in 49ers history, announced Sunday he is suffering from ALS.

Another Pro Football Hall of Famer, Jerry Rice, said: "DC has done so much for me as a player and friend". "I have ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease".

The two-time Super Bowl victor played for the 49ers from 1979 to 1987 and is best known for "The Catch", a winning touchdown pass from Joe Montana in the 1981 NFC Championship Game that played between the 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys at Candlestick Park, which helped the team nab the championship title.

Clark wrote in his statement, "I've been asked if playing football caused this".

Clark served as the first top football personnel executive of the expansion era for the Browns as vice president and director of football operations after being hand-picked by late Browns owner Al Lerner shortly after he was awarded the franchise from the NFL. "I don't know for sure, but I certainly suspect it did".

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ALS is a disease that attacks the nerve cells and controls voluntary muscle movement. "And I encourage the NFLPA and the NFL to continue working together in their efforts to make the game of football safer, especially as it relates to head trauma", he said. Fortunately, he said the disease seems to be progressing slower than in most patients. "Picking up anything over 30 pounds is a chore", he wrote.

In under a minute, Clark caught the six-yard pass from Joe Montana, which resulted in the team winning the game and advancing to the Super Bowl. She keeps thinking positive and convinces me each day that we can beat this, as does my daughter, Casey, and my son, Mac.

Clark highlighted the strength and unconditional love he's received from his wife Kelly, along with his brother Jeff and his wife and children. And while he said in his statement he didn't want to do interviews now, he said he thought the disease was linked to his playing days. That time will come.

"Right now, I've got work to do", he wrote.

The 49ers legend finished by writing, "My ultimate hope is that eventually I can assist in finding a cure for ALS, which disrupts the lives of so many and their loved ones".

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