The 49ers lost two former players in December, and recognized the passing of Clyde Conner and Charlie Smith in the following press release:
Wide receiver Conner passed away on Dec. 12th at his Los Altos home. Former San Francisco 49ers end Smith passed away on December 26 in San Angelo, TX. Conner and Smith were both 78 years old.
A native of Tuttle, OK, Conner attended the University of the Pacific in Stockton, where he played basketball. It was not until his senior year that he was asked to play on the football team. After trying out for the 49ers at training camp, the 6-2, 193-lb receiver had a successful eight-year career in San Francisco from 1956-1963, including 2nd team All-Pro honors in 1957. In 1958, he ranked fifth in the NFL in receptions with 49, while also leading the team with 512 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Conner ended his career with 203 catches for 2,643 yards, averaging 13.0 yards per catch. He was inducted to the University of the Pacific Hall of Fame in 1985.
After football, Conner worked in corporate vehicle leasing. There will be a memorial held in Conners honor on January 16th at the Los Altos Methodist Church.
A Texas native, Smith attended Abilene Christian University on a football and track scholarship. He was then drafted by the 49ers in the 8th round of the 1956 NFL Draft. Smith remained in San Francisco until 1957 when he was forced to retire from the NFL because of injuries. During his tenure, Smith played in 12 games as both a receiver and a returner.
After his football career, Smith returned to Texas where he enjoyed a 36-year career in education. He was a teacher, coach, and administrator in the Texas school system. Earlier this year, Smith visited the 49ers Santa Clara Headquarters and was able to revisit the team he played with decades before.
San Francisco 49ers media services contributed to this report