One month after the passing of Dwight Clark — the San Francisco 49ers great made famous by “The Catch” of a pass from Joe Montana to beat the Dallas Cowboys in the 1981 NFC Championship Game — ex-49ers head coach Steve Mariucci revealed that the late wide receiver’s ashes have a unique resting place.
In a video posted to Twitter on Saturday, Mariucci said in a clip that Clark’s ashes had been laid to rest at the Montana ranch of former team owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. In a fitting tribute to Clark’s iconic play, his ashes rest the same distance from the actual Candlestick Park goal post as when he scored the franchise-changing touchdown decades ago.
Clark died in June at age 61 after an extended battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He won two Super Bowls as a 49ers player and three as an executive.
Clark’s last public appearance was last October at “Dwight Clark Day” when he addressed 49ers fans at halftime of the team’s game against the Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium. The opponent was an appropriate choice, since Clark’s legendary reception decades earlier at Candlestick Park allowed San Francisco to shock Dallas 28-27 in the NFC title game. Clark’s leaping catch of Montana’s high heave in the final minute put the Niners in their first Super Bowl, which they won over the Cincinnati Bengals.
The two-time Pro Bowl wideout recorded a career-high 85 catches and 1,105 yards in San Francisco’s first Super Bowl season, following with an NFL-high 60 receptions in the strike-shortened 1982 season. In the five-year span from 1980-84, Clark led the NFC with 349 receptions. Thanks to his years as one of Montana’s most reliable targets, Clark ranks among the team’s all-time leaders in catches (506, fourth), receiving yards (6,750, third) and touchdown catches (48, tied for sixth).
DeBartolo issued a statement after Clark’s death a month ago that read in part, “I cannot put into words how special Dwight was to me and to everyone his life touched. He was an amazing husband, father, grandfather, brother and a great friend and teammate. He showed tremendous courage and dignity in his battle with ALS and we hope there will soon be a cure for this horrendous disease.
“I will always remember Dwight the way he was — larger than life, handsome, charismatic and the only one who could pull off wearing a fur coat at our Super Bowl parade. He was responsible for one of the most iconic plays in NFL history that began our run of Super Bowl championships, but to me, he will always be an extension of my family. I love him and will miss him terribly.”
While Clark is not a Pro Football Hall of Famer, he was in the 49ers’ inaugural Hall of Fame class in 2009, and the team retired his No. 87 in 1988, a year after he retired following nine seasons, all in San Francisco.
Once retired from football, Clark spent nine seasons in the 49ers’ front office, including as the team’s general manager in 1998.
—Field Level Media