Embarking on a season of celebration in honor of the greatest teammate to ever wear the Red and Gold, the San Francisco 49ers announced plans to honor Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Famer Dwight Clark, who passed away in June, during a celebration of his life. Following a private screening of NBC Sports Bay Area’s “Letters to 87” at the 49ers Museum for Clark’s former teammates, family and those who wrote to him in recent months, 49ers President Al Guido revealed the team’s plans to pay tribute to Clark’s legacy throughout the 2018 season.
“Almost four decades ago, Dwight Clark’s miraculous catch launched the San Francisco 49ers into an era of excellence,” said 49ers CEO Jed York. “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 organization’s tribute to Clark will include:
- All 49ers players will wear “87” helmet decals throughout the season
- Levi’s Stadium field bunting will pay tribute to Clark during all 49ers games
- The nationally televised game on October 21st against the visiting Los Angeles Rams will feature a number of tributes to Clark’s legacy:
- The game will be highlighted by the unveiling of statues depicting “The Catch” outside of Levi’s® Stadium. The 350-pound statues of Dwight Clark and Joe Montana will be placed exactly 23 yards apart, just as the two 49ers were during the famous play. The representation of Clark, with his hands outstretched, will extend 11 feet in the air.
- During the game, the playing field will feature an “87” marking in the north end zone commemorating the location of “The Catch”.
- The contest will also serve as the 49ers annual Alumni Game and, therefore, funds will be raised throughout the weekend to support Clark’s charity of choice, the Golden Heart Fund. The fund was established in 2016 to support 49ers alumni in need of financial, medical, psychological or emotional support.
- All 49ers proceeds from the season-long sale of Dwight Clark Day t-shirts and Dwight Clark merchandise currently in-stock at the 49ers Team Store at Levi’s Stadium and at Shop49ers.com/DC87 will be donated to the Golden Heart Fund.
These season-long tributes to Clark follow “Dwight Clark Day,” which took place at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday, October 22nd, 2017, when the 49ers hosted the Dallas Cowboys. Highlighted by a special halftime event which featured a courageous address by Clark to his teammates and coaches, 49ers family, and the Faithful, the day celebrated his many contributions to the organization as a player (1979-87), front office executive (1989-98), and 49ers Hall of Fame consultant.