Former Miami Dolphin and San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Freddie Solomon died on Monday after a year-long battle with liver and colon cancer. He was 59 years old.
Solomon retired in 1985 after an 11 year career that included two Super Bowl Championships with the 49ers, in Super Bowl XVI and XIX. He racked up over 5,000 receiving yards in his career, but will be widely remembered for the community service work he did in the decades after his retirement.
Solomon’s last year overlapped with the first year of Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice. Rice indicated that he learned a lot from Solomon that first year, saying today, “Freddie was very influential to me and my career, and taught me about work ethic and professionalism. He inspired me to go out there every day and emulate him.”
Solomon won his two Super Bowls with Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana throwing the ball to him, and the two were close on and off the field. “Freddie Solomon was a dear friend and a great teammate,” Montana said.
“There was no one who gave more on and off the field than Freddie. The kindness he demonstrated was inspirational to all that knew him, and a joy to be around. The warmth of his smile will be forever imbedded in my mind and heart.”
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of my dear friend Freddie Solomon today,” said former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. who owned the team during their 5 Super Bowl runs in the 1980s and 1990s. “Freddie and I have been friends for 35 years, and he was one of the most gentle and best men I have ever met in my life.”
DeBartolo went on to add, “I’ve met thousands of players who came through my locker room with the 49ers, but I’ve never seen anyone with a heart like Freddie.”
“Besides his accomplishments as a player, Freddie truly cared about his community,” said Nat Moore, Vice President / Senior Advisor for the Dolphins in a statement.
“He was a kind and generous person, as exemplified by all of his charitable and civic deeds. It’s a shame he passed away so young.”
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