Former 49ers receiver Dwight Clark dies of ALS at 61

AFP
Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver, Dwight Clark, signs autographs for fans at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California, in 2014 (AFP Photo/Christian Petersen)

Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver, Dwight Clark, signs autographs for fans at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California, in 2014

Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver, Dwight Clark, signs autographs for fans at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California, in 2014 (AFP Photo/Christian Petersen)

Los Angeles (AFP) - Dwight Clark, the former San Francisco 49ers receiver whose soaring touchdown catch in 1982 is one of the iconic plays in NFL history, died Monday at the age of 61 from complications of ALS.

Clark's wife, Kelly, announced Clark's death on his Twitter account, which he had used in March of last year to reveal he had been diagnosed with the neuro-muscular disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

"I'm heartbroken to tell you that today I lost my best friend and husband," Kelly Clark wrote. "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."

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Clark will be forever remembered for "The Catch" a leaping, fingertip reception of a Joe Montana pass in the NFC championship game on January 10, 1982.

The 49ers beat Dallas Cowboys in that game -- ending the Cowboys' long dominance of the conference -- and went on to win their first Super Bowl victory.

The 49ers won four Super Bowls in the 1980s, and made the playoffs eight out of the next 10 seasons.

The 49ers retired Clark's number 87 jersey in 1988, one year after his last season.

When the 49ers closed down Candlestick Park in 2013, "The Catch" was named the number one play in the stadium's history.

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