Dwight Clark, the legendary San Francisco 49ers wide receiver, died Monday at age 61, approximately 15 months after he announced he had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

49ers Legend Dwight Clark Dead at 61

Clark’s wife Kelly posted a brief statement about his death on his Twitter page.

According to a Huffington Post report, Clark had believed that his ALS — which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease — was partly because by his football career. However, many medical experts have said they have found no evidence to assert the neurodegenerative disease and football are related.

Clark played for the Niners from 1979 to 1987 after being selected as a 10th-round draft pick out of Clemson. He helped lead the franchise to five Super Bowl victories, two of them as a player and the other three as a team executive. Clark was also named to two Pro Bowls.

The receiver is perhaps most famous for making a legendary play simply known as “The Catch.” Late in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship Game between the 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys after the 1981 season, San Francisco was losing. Then-49ers quarterback Joe Montana was being pressured by Dallas’s defense but managed to throw a desperate, deep pass to Clark, who jumped up to catch the ball in the back of the end zone to seal the victory.

San Francisco won its first national title that year, the first of five.

Here are some of the people from around the NFL who paid tribute to Clark on social media:


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