Blog Entry

Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

Posted on: February 13, 2012 7:42 pm
  •  
 
Freddie Solomon died Monday at the age of 59. (Getty)
By Josh Katzowitz

Former 49ers receiver Freddie Solomon, an important contributor to Bill Walsh’s original West Coast offense, died Monday afternoon at the age of 59 after a battle with colon and liver cancer.

"With all that he has done, with all that he has meant to this community, Freddie Solomon is irreplaceable,”  Vin Hoover, Solomon's football teammate at the University of Tampa, told the Tampa Tribune. "He was my friend. He was everyone's friend.”

After his 11-year career with the Dolphins and 49ers from 1975-85, where he caught 371 passes for a 15.8 yards per catch average and 48 touchdowns, he stayed in Tampa and became a positive fixture in the community.

As the Tribune writes:
Solomon worked for two decades in community relations with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, working with youths while blending football fundamentals with life lessons. He rarely spoke about his accomplishments. For some, he dished out tough love. For others, he was a mentor. To all, he was simply "Coach Solomon."

Each winter for a dozen years, Solomon and former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo organized a Christmas celebration for foster children. The kids got wrapped toys, dolls or games. Their stunned caregivers, usually struggling to make ends meet, were screaming or sobbing in disbelief after opening gift envelopes filled with hundreds of dollars.

He was constantly stopped in his daily travels by people who remembered his glory days. Solomon obliged with a handshake, a hug, an autograph or a quick photo. Once, a woman asked Solomon to telephone her father, a big fan, as a birthday surprise. Instead, on his way home from work, Solomon dropped by the man's house to personally share some UT memories. They talked and laughed for hours.

"Freddie Solomon was a treasure for us in San Francisco,'' said former 49ers safety Ronnie Lott, a Pro Football Hall of Famer. "What a humanitarian he has been for the city of Tampa."

Interestingly enough, he was just as generous with his teammates. Jerry Rice and Dwight Clark are on record saying how helpful he was to them early in their careers.

"He helped me when he didn't really have to,'' Clark said. "But as I came to understand, that's how he has always been with everybody. He has led an amazing life.”

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
  •  
Comments

Since: Dec 24, 2011
Posted on: February 13, 2012 9:42 pm
 

Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

I remember seeing Freddie when he first joined the Niners. You could buy a ticket the day of the game at 3/4 filled Candlestick in 1978 when Freddie arrived. Freddie helped change all that along with another arrival in 1978, O J Simpson. Walsh arrived the next year and the rest was history. The famous "The Catch" by Dwight Clark was set up by a couple of key catches by Freddie. In fact, the play was designed to go to Freddie. God bless you Freddie and thanks for the memories.


ftballdoofus
Since: Jan 24, 2012
Posted on: February 13, 2012 9:40 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Sep 13, 2010
Posted on: February 13, 2012 9:36 pm
 

Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

What a gentleman and what a stark contrast to today's players. CBSSports, Espn, and all the other sportscasters and outlets should be ashamed of themselves for not giving us stories of the good people in sports like Mr. Solomon and instead only giving us the bad and the scandolous. Rest in peace my good man.



Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: February 13, 2012 9:23 pm
 

Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

Was a big fan of Freddie and very sorry to hear of his passing. Maybe todays WR's can learn something about how a proffesional player goes about his business, but I doubt it.



Since: Jan 5, 2012
Posted on: February 13, 2012 9:07 pm
 

Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

important contributor to Bill Walsh’s original West Coast offense
Epic just epic, sorry to hear he passed & still young, way to young!  long & full career RIP!



Since: Jul 18, 2009
Posted on: February 13, 2012 8:57 pm
 

Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

From a time when there seemed to be more good guys.. one who stood out.. very sad for his family and may he rest in peace



Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: February 13, 2012 8:49 pm
 

Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

A very sad day for true NFL fans. He played a very integral part in the 49ers early Super Bowl championships in the 80s. this guy was a very talented player. May his family receive God's peace and loving comfort during this tragic time.

On a side note, I think this tragedy points to the need for all men ages 40 and older, to have regular screenings for colon/liver cancer every 3-5 years. I'm in my early 50s and had a colonoscopy last year, which detected 4 benign polyps. Regular testing can help detect colon and liver cancer early and the chances of sucessfully treating cancer are very good. As  with all forms of cancer, early detection is important.



Since: Apr 13, 2011
Posted on: February 13, 2012 8:48 pm
 

Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

R.I.P Freddie Solomon, gone but never forgotten.....49ERS 4 LIFE !!!!!!!!



Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: February 13, 2012 7:55 pm
 

Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

one of the only university of tampa spartans to ever play in the nfl....we will miss you freddie



Since: Oct 26, 2011
Posted on: February 13, 2012 7:54 pm
 

Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

R.I.P. Freddie , you were a good man. Not just a football player.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com