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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady posts emotional statement after the passing of ex-49ers tight end Dwight Clark

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Clark died yesterday.

via instagram.com/tombrady

Yesterday, former San Francisco 49ers tight end Dwight Clark passed away at the age of 61 after a year-long battle with ALS. A tenth-round draft pick in 1979, Clark spent his entire nine-year professional career in San Francisco and helped the team win two Super Bowls. He is best known, however, for being a part of one of the NFL's greatest plays: The Catch, which happened during the 1981 NFC Championship Game against the Dallas Cowboys.

This classic image of Clark's game-winning touchdown is also what New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady used to honor Clark on Instagram:

Dwight Clark was one of my idols growing up in San Mateo. I was lucky enough to be at the game where my hero Joe Montana perfectly placed the game winning throw/catch to Dwight in the corner of the end zone to beat the cowboys in the 1981 season. I was 4 years old and cried to my parents the entire first half because I couldn’t see the field when the grown ups would stand and scream for the 49ers.

I got a chance to meet him when we happened to share the same orthodontist in San Mateo and I sabotaged one of his visits just to meet him and shake his hand. He was incredibly gracious to me that day as a young boy. And I never forgot the impact he made on me as all of our heroes do. I am sad tonight hearing of his passing of ALS but I know he is now resting and at peace finally after many years valiantly fighting such a terrible disease. Thank you for the great memories and RIP!

Growing up a 49ers fan, Brady has never shied away from sharing his admiration for San Francisco's golden age of pro football. It is therefore no surprise that his tribute to Dwight Clark is a heartfelt one.