July 19, 2011
Former San Francisco 49ers centerForrest Blue passed away on July 16, 2011, at an assisted living facility in Carmichael, CA, at the age of 65. A four-time Pro Bowler and two-time First Team All-Pro in his 11-year NFL career, Blue played seven seasons for the 49ers from 1968 through 1974, serving as a mainstay starting center.Born Forrest Murrell Blue, Jr. on September 7, 1945, in Marfa, TX, he attended Chamberlain High School in Tampa, FL, before starring in both football and baseball at Auburn University. An athletic offensive lineman, Blue was a captain on the 1967 Auburn Tigers football team and was named an All-American in his senior year. He played in the Blue-Gray Senior Bowl and College All-Star post-season games and also earned a degree in economics from Auburn.The 49ers drafted the 6-5, 248-pound Blue in the first round (15th overall) of the 1968 NFL Draft. He was a vital part of Dick Nolans 49ers teams of the early 1970s that won three-straight NFC West titles (1970-1973), even scoring a touchdown as a 49er on a 25-yard fumble return against the New England Patriots in 1971. Despite shoulder and ankle injuries in the middle of his career, Blue didnt miss a single game for the 49ers from 1969 until 1974. He went on to play four seasons for the Baltimore Colts (1975-1978) before retiring from football after the 1978 season.Following his NFL career, Blue moved back to California, founding Forrest Blue Properties Inc., a development company in Penryn, CA.
Courtesy San Francisco 49ers media services