How did Greg Clark die? NFL star and former San Francisco 49ers tight end dies at 49

NFL star Greg Clark had a brilliant career as San Francisco 49ers tight end and he leaves behind his wife and three sons

                            How did Greg Clark die? NFL star and former San Francisco 49ers tight end dies at 49
Greg Clark played as San Francisco 49ers tight end (Todd Warshaw/Allsport/ Getty Images)

NFL icon Greg Clark, who had a remarkable career as a tight end with San Francisco 49ers, died at the age of 49. His family issued a statement confirming the news of his tragic death on July 7, 2021. The former NFL star died at his hometown of Danville, Utah, where he lived with his family. Clark is survived by his wife Carrie and their three sons. One of his sons, Jayden, has played as a linebacker at Southern Utah. ''Most importantly, he was a cherished and dedicated father of three sons, and a loving husband to his wife of 23 years," mentioned the official statement about his demise. 

"'It is with great sadness we announce the unexpected passing of Greg Clark, cherished husband, father, son, brother and friend to so many. Greg was a dedicated family man who was successful at everything he did, from his academic and athletic achievements as a Stanford scholar athlete to his role as tight end for the San Francisco 49ers, to the creation of a successful real estate platform throughout the bay area," excerpts from the statement reads. This tragic news comes soon after the deaths of iconic NFL personalities such as legendary UCLA coach Terry Donahue, ex-New York Giants coach Jim Fassel and former Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan


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Tight end Greg Clark of the San Francisco 49ers during the 49ers 34-7 win over the Atlanta Falcons at 3Com Park in San Francisco, California (Todd Warshaw /Allsport)

How did Greg Clark die?

In their official statement, Clark's family disclosed the cause of his death. the NFL star battled with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). "His recent suffering from CTE symptoms cannot extinguish the breadth of his impact on us and others and we are forever grateful for the time we have had with him. It is our hope that through further research we can gain more knowledge surrounding CTE," his family wrote. 

The deadly brain condition is known to be caused by repeated episodes of concussion or blows to the head. According to NHS, the condition is most prominent in players of contact sports such as football or boxing. Often referred to as 'punch dunk' syndrome, the degenerative disease slowly affects the functioning of the brain. The symptoms include memory loss, impaired judgment, depression, anxiety, parkinsonism and even suicidal tendencies.

Greg Clark #85 of the San Francisco 49ers carries the ball up the field during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at the 3Com Park in San Francisco, California (Credit: Jed Jacobsohn /Allsport)

Greg Clark's unparalleled legacy

A Stanford University alumnus, Clark played for the university team as a tight-end for five seasons. His impressive blocking ability was noticed by Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh who recruited him for the Stanford team. His career with the San Francisco 49ers lasted from 1997 to 2001.

Though forced into an early retirement due to injuries, Clark was recognized as one of the best blocking tight ends in NFL. In 55 games, he hauled 92 receptions for 909 yards and four touchdowns. He was named a consensus First Team All-American from Ricks College and was also named to the 1999 All-Joe team.

Post his retirement, Clark built a succesful career in real estate. 

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