100% of the book royalties will be donated to the Golden Heart Fund.


Edward J. DeBartolo Jr.’s Candy Bar Ranch; Kalispell, Montana; April 23, 2018  Front row, l-r Carlton Williamson, Lindsy McLean (49ers trainer), Huey Lewis, Dwight Clark, Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., Michael Zagaris (longtime 49ers photographer, seated), Carmen Policy, Ronnie Lott, Gary Plummer, Fred Formosa (former 49ers director of security), Kirk Reynolds (former 49ers PR man) Middle row, l-r Rick Winters (friend of Clark’s), Paul Hackett (former 49ers assistant coach), Garrison Hearst, Eric Wright, Mike Wilson, Roger Craig, Dwight Hicks, John Faylor, Lawrence Pillers, Russ Francis, Guy McIntyre, Ron Ferrari, Harris Barton Back row, l-r Dwaine Board, Dr. Ken Kenyhercz, Charles Haley, Kirk Scrafford, Kevin Gogan

Edward J. DeBartolo Jr.’s Candy Bar Ranch; Kalispell, Montana; April 23, 2018

Front row, l-r Carlton Williamson, Lindsy McLean (49ers trainer), Huey Lewis, Dwight Clark, Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., Michael Zagaris (longtime 49ers photographer, seated), Carmen Policy, Ronnie Lott, Gary Plummer, Fred Formosa (former 49ers director of security), Kirk Reynolds (former 49ers PR man) Middle row, l-r Rick Winters (friend of Clark’s), Paul Hackett (former 49ers assistant coach), Garrison Hearst, Eric Wright, Mike Wilson, Roger Craig, Dwight Hicks, John Faylor, Lawrence Pillers, Russ Francis, Guy McIntyre, Ron Ferrari, Harris Barton Back row, l-r Dwaine Board, Dr. Ken Kenyhercz, Charles Haley, Kirk Scrafford, Kevin Gogan


When I told Dwight I had the goalpost from that end zone at Candlestick moved to my ranch in Montana, he couldn’t believe it. On the last day of our Montana reunion, Dwight rode his wheelchair from my barn all the way to the goalpost. We had our pictures taken in front of it. It was one of the final times we would all be together. But even then, Dwight was leaving us all with special moments to cherish forever.
— Edward J. DeBartolo Jr.

Dwaine Board, Guy McIntyre, and Eric Wright laugh at the reunion organized by Eddie DeBartolo in Whitefish, Montana on April 22, 2018.

Dwaine Board, Guy McIntyre, and Eric Wright laugh at the reunion organized by Eddie DeBartolo in Whitefish, Montana on April 22, 2018.

Ronnie Lott, Keena Turner, Mike Wilson, Carlton Williamson, John Faylor, Dwight Clark, and Huey Lewis gather for a picture at the reunion organized by Eddie DeBartolo in Whitefish, Montana on April 22, 2018.

Ronnie Lott, Keena Turner, Mike Wilson, Carlton Williamson, John Faylor, Dwight Clark, and Huey Lewis gather for a picture at the reunion organized by Eddie DeBartolo in Whitefish, Montana on April 22, 2018.


A team is the heartbeat of its community. It extends beyond the players on the field and brings people from all walks of life together. The San Francisco 49ers have been the heartbeat of the Bay Area community for decades. They have lifted our community through triumph and adversity, forging memories that impact a lifetime. Being a part of the team means picking one another up and being a hero for those who have served as heroes before us.

The Golden Heart Fund is the team that provides support and relief to 49ers alumni in times of physical, emotional, and financial need. Established in 2016 by former 49ers greats, the fund draws on the support of the community they once served and their 49ers brotherhood, past and present, to help them find a path back to good health and employment. The goal is to walk alongside every player who has taken to the field in the red and gold, especially for those who have found difficulty in the years following retirement.

The average NFL career lasts roughly three years. The abrupt transition into the workforce and life away from football introduces unique challenges for many retired NFL athletes, such as struggles with depression, the aftermath of physical injuries, challenges to their self-identity, and often financial burdens. While these players competed at the highest level, continually putting their bodies on the line, they also devoted their time to serving local youth and families in need, seeking opportunities to be good stewards of their community. Pro football players often leave the NFL without many of the tools necessary to transition away from the game, not to mention potential lingering or developing health issues sustained during their career.

The New York Times estimated in 2014 that one in three players can expect to develop long-term cognitive problems after their careers end. A 2009 Sports Illustrated study found that 78 percent of NFL players experience financial hardship within two years of retiring from the league. Whether they played for two years or twenty years, the Golden Heart Fund works to assist retired 49ers alumni in the transitional process overcome these obstacles by providing the education and employment resources, as well as the physical, emotional, and financial support they may need.

When 49ers legend Dwight Clark was diagnosed with ALS, the Golden Heart Fund was there to battle it with him. The fans, players, owners, reporters, friends, and family all came together to support one of their own, and they will continue to do so by donating the royalties from this book to the Golden Heart Fund in honor of Dwight.

Our heroes on the field lift us up and bring us together, and by lifting them up in return, we continue to build the bonds that make the 49ers family strong.

www.goldenheartfund.org


Charles Haley, Michael Zagaris, and Ronnie Lott laugh at the reunion organized by Eddie DeBartolo in Kalispell, Montana on April 23, 2018.

Charles Haley, Michael Zagaris, and Ronnie Lott laugh at the reunion organized by Eddie DeBartolo in Kalispell, Montana on April 23, 2018.

Keena Turner toasts Dwight Clark at the reunion organized by Eddie DeBartolo in Kalispell, Montana on April 23, 2018.

Keena Turner toasts Dwight Clark at the reunion organized by Eddie DeBartolo in Kalispell, Montana on April 23, 2018.


I love you man.
— Ronnie Lott