MMA
Nick Wagoner, ESPN Staff Writer 30d

While fighting ALS, Dwight Clark just wanted to see his teammates once more

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers honored franchise legend Dwight Clark at halftime of Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys. The team gave away T-shirts with images of Clark's most famous play, "The Catch," imprinted over his No. 87, and the Niners incorporated a number of other Clark-centric moments throughout the contest.

After a video tribute narrated by retired sportscaster Vin Scully and an introduction by Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, Clark addressed the Levi's Stadium crowd from a suite. Clark, who is battling ALS, directed his comments to the team's fans, ownership, his family and the more than 30 former teammates who were also in attendance Sunday afternoon.

Here is a transcript of his speech in full:

"Hello, my 49ers faithful. I want to thank you for all your support. I think you all know I am going through a little thing right now and I need your prayers and thoughts and I appreciate those. I'd like to thank the York family for putting this day together. These are unique days. Having all the players flown back in here so I can see them one more time, passing out the T-shirts, it's a big day and I'm very appreciative that Jed did that for me.

"When Keena Turner [San Francisco's vice president of football affairs] asked me what I wanted to do, whether raise money or have some kind of function, I said I just want to see my teammates, and the 49ers heard that and flew all these players in so I could see them one more time.

"I obviously want to thank my family. It's been a tough year and they've been through a lot. Of course, they supported me when I was a player but now they have to support me in a different way, so I want to thank my daughter Casey, my son Matt, my brother Jeff and his family. I appreciate all the support that they're giving me in these trying times.

"In 1979, he made this team into a family, and 40 years later, he is still taking care of me. He has called all over the world trying to find the best remedies for ALS. He sent me to Japan to get medicine there. I could never, ever thank the DeBartolo family and Eddie D [enough]."

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