Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports



Sunday was "Dwight Clark Day" at Levi's Stadium as the San Francisco 49ers paid tribute to an NFL icon. Clark, who spent 1979 through 1987 with the 49ers and is best known for "The Catch," has been battling ALS. Over 30 of his former teammates, including Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, were at the game on Sunday to help honor the former wide receiver.

Clark, who had a chance to address the fans during halftime on Sunday, joined the "Murph & Mac" show on KNBR Tuesday morning and shared what it was like to be honored by the team.

"It was spectacular," Clark said. "I mean, I can't believe how many players they flew in and how many actually wanted to come. I got to spend an hour-and-a-half seeing them and reminiscing a little bit. Having Eddie (DeBartolo Jr.) there was awesome. It was just a special day.

"I didn't get to see too many fans. They kept taking me through these back hallways so I didn't get to see too many fans but once I got out into the stadium, I could see them all so it was pretty good. It was real good. I thought the 49ers did an unbelievable job of putting that together, the way it all flowed."

Despite struggling with the disease, Clark seems to be in good spirits and has not lost his sense of humor.

"The only thing is they cut me off on my speech a little early," Clark said jokingly. "I hadn't talked about Eddie yet or my wife so I had to get back on. I said, 'Look, I'm not done.' They said, 'Ok.'"

"I had a really good time," Clark continued. "I was worn out but I had a good time. I could tell how tired my voice was, barely working as I started to talk. I was getting worried that it was going to give out but it all turned out ok."

While Clark doesn't know how fans are getting his email address and phone number, he said he receives hundreds of messages from the Niner Faithful.

"I just can't keep up with them," Clark said. "I want to put a blanket thank you out there for everybody that has sent something. I will eventually get to returning everybody's texts and email but I feel so honored and humbled that the fans feel the way they do and I feel the same way about them.

"I have a great relationship with the fans. It's probably mostly because we have a signature moment together that kicked Dallas' ass and got us to the Super Bowl so there's a lot of stories that come from that play."

Clark went on to describe what it has been like battling the devastating disease and was asked if he has a message for the fans who love him.

"Just that I appreciate all the support and the prayers and anything that will help me try to get through this. This is one of those tough battles that if you beat this, you're in a very small percentage. I'm just hoping that it plateaus at some point before I get all the way to the end where I can't move and talk and all that. But my wife has been incredible. She's taken over a gigantic load of having to do everything because I can barely pick up a bag right now.

"I'm losing the strength. I lost 80 pounds if you can believe that. I'm still able to use my hands a little bit, walk a little bit, but this stuff is no joke, man. They need to find a cure to this thing because it's torture going through all the different phases. I wake up every morning and I take that first step to see if it's going to work and it's, 'Ok, still walking today.'"

Clark went on to say that, other than his wife, Eddie DeBartolo Jr. and Ronnie Lott are the ones who help to keep his spirits up. Their support has meant so much to Clark.

"[Eddie] called all over the world looking for something (to help)," Clark said. "And he reads everything. He's trying his best to find something to stop this thing. This Japan drug is kind of slowing it down so that's pretty good."

Clark, who is a two-time Super Bowl champion and has his number (87) retired by the team, was selected to two Pro Bowls (1981, 1982) and was a two-time All-Pro (1981, 1982).

You can listen to the entire 14-minute interview with Clark below.



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