49ers great Dwight Clark announces he has ALS

Clark, who announced Sunday he has Lou Gehrig’s disease, was with the Browns from 1999-2002. Cleveland was 21-43 during those four seasons.

Former 49ers wide receiver Dwight Clark announced Sunday night he has ALS, often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“I have ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease,” Clark, 60, wrote on his blog,via San Jose Mercury News. “Those words are still very hard for me to say.”

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, and debilitates the brain’s function of controlling muscle movement, per ALSA.org.

Clark continued, “The one piece of good news is that the disease seems to be progressing more slowly than in some patients. While I’m still trying to wrap my head around the challenge I will face with this disease over the coming years, the only thing I know is that I’m going to fight like hell and live every day to the fullest.”

Clark played in San Francisco for nine seasons, amassing 506 catches for 6,750 yards and 48 touchdowns. He was part of the 49ers’ Super Bowl-winning teams in 1981-82 and 1984-85and is a two-time Pro Bowler.

Clark was part of one of the most famous plays in NFL history, dubbed “The Catch.” With 58 seconds left in the 1982 NFC Championship Game against the Dallas Cowboys, Joe Montana found Clark in the back of the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown that propelled the 49ers to a 28-27 victory.

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