Dwight Clark, the NFL receiver who made one of the most memorable plays in NFL history (“The Catch” with Joe Montana on January 10, 1982) and jump-started the San Francisco 49ers’ dynasty, may be associated with the West Coast. But to us, this native son and winner of two Super Bowl titles will always be a North Carolinian.
To honor this spectacular Kinston native–who tragically lost a battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in June 2018 at the age of 61–the North Carolina Sports Hall Of Fame will dedicate a case to Clark on Thursday, September 6. Scheduled for display on the first day of 2018’s NFL regular season, the case includes a commemorative helmet, signed by Dwight Clark and Joe Montana, as well as the Sports Illustrated cover of the “The Catch” from 1982.
Clark was born in Kinston in 1957, graduated from Garinger High School in Charlotte, and went on to play football at Clemson University. He was drafted by the 49ers in 1979 and spent his entire nine-year career there, winning two Super Bowl titles and going to two Pro Bowl all-star games. Clark was inducted into the NCSHOF in 1997.
During the 2018–2019 NFL season, the 49ers will pay tribute to Clark by wearing his jersey number, the number 87, on their helmets. An 87 will also mark the end zone, where he made The Catch, and a statue of the play will be unveiled during the October 21 game against the Los Angeles Rams.