49ers to honor Dwight Clark with statue, helmet decal

ByNick Wagoner ESPN logo
Wednesday, August 8, 2018

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers announced plansWednesday to honor franchise legend Dwight Clark this season and beyond.

Clark, who died in June after a battle with ALS, will be remembered this season with a decal on the 49ers' helmets and on a more permanent basis by way of a statue outside of Levi's Stadium.

The statue will depict Clark leaping and reaching high into the air to haul in "The Catch," one of the most famous plays in NFL history. That play gave San Francisco a win against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game and propelled the 49ers to their first Super Bowl title.

According to the Niners, Clark's statue will be placed in conjunction with a statue of Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana. The 350-pound statues will be exactly 23 yards apart, the same distance Clark and Montana were from each other when "The Catch" took place on Jan. 10, 1982 at Candlestick Park.

Clark's statue will show him suspended in midair with his hands reaching 11 feet above the ground, while Montana's arms will be raised in celebration of a touchdown.

"Almost four decades ago, Dwight Clark's miraculous catch launched the San Francisco 49ers into an era of excellence," Niners CEO Jed York said in a statement. "Since that time, he has served as an inspirational figure to citizens of the Bay Area and beyond. Dwight has meant so much to so many and it is only fitting that our organization continues to carry on his wonderful legacy.

"The 2018 season provides us a tremendous opportunity to celebrate the life of a very special man, while also raising awareness for the Golden Heart Fund, which was so dear to his heart. Dwight lived his life with great compassion for others, and we want to honor that legacy by raising funds to support his 49ers brothers."

The 49ers intend to unveil the statues on Oct. 21, when they play the Los Angeles Rams in a nationally televised game. For that game, the Niners also will place a painted "87" (Clark's jersey number) in the north end zone, meant to approximate the location of "The Catch."

During that game, the 49ers will raise money for the Golden Heart Fund, which supports 49ers alumni in need of financial, medical, psychological or emotional support.

In addition to those tributes, the Niners will honor Clark all season by wearing decals with Clark's 87 and the silhouette logo of Clark's catch on their helmets for every game. The Levi's Stadium field bunting also will feature tributes to Clark during home games.