Clark passed away in June at the age of 61. He was a former Garinger High star who became an NFL All-Pro and two-time Super Bowl champion. He played for the 49ers from 1979-87 and he was a front-office executive from 1989-98.
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In 1981, Clark made history by leaping to catch a game-winning pass from Joe Montana in the end zone against the Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game. The play is now remembered simply as “The Catch,” and a life-size statue of Clark in the 49ers’ museum honors the player -- and the play.
▪ Clark, who was raised in Kinston, moved with his family to Charlotte. He graduated from Garinger High in 1975 and played college football at Clemson. He wound up in the NFL after a pro scout, sent to Clemson to evaluate Tigers quarterback Steve Fuller, took notice of Clark, a quick 6-foot-4 receiver who was catching passes that day. Before Jerry Rice, Clark became the most famous receiver in the Bay Area, catching 506 passes for 6,750 yards and 48 touchdowns.