Public Memorial Held For Bill Walsh Friday In San Francisco
Aug. 10, 2007
San Francisco, Calif. - A public memorial was held for the late Bill Walsh on Friday at Monster Park in San Francisco. Chris Berman of ESPN was the emcee for the event with guest speakers including Gavin Newsom, Charlie Young, Dianne Feinstein, Dennis Green, Dwight Hicks, Steve Young, Carmen Policy, Eddie DeBartolo, Jr. and Joe Montana.
Walsh passed away at the age of 75 on July 30 after a long battle with leukemia.
Walsh was the head football coach at Stanford on two occasions from 1977-78 and 1992-94. His two Stanford head coaching stints sandwiched his 10-year run as the head football coach of the San Francisco 49ers when he led the club to three Super Bowl titles (1982, 1985, 1989) and was twice named NFL Coach of the Year (1981, 1984).
A large crowd cheered Newsom loudly at Friday's memorial when he announced that the Monster Park playing field would be named Walsh Field. Berman often purposefully called the facility where the memorial was held Candlestick Park to honor the name of the venue while Walsh was leading the San Francisco 49ers to three Super Bowl victories.
Other activities included a video presentation by NFL Films and moving music from the Glide Ensemble Choir, who according to Berman had been requested by Walsh before he passed away to perform at the service.
Montana arguably described Walsh best when he revealed some words Walsh had for him in the last few days of Walsh's life.
Montana said that Walsh told him to 'please, please, tell the guys I love them.'
'He loved us all, and I think we knew that,' continued Montana. 'But the one thing I don't think he knows is how much we love him. So in closing, I'd just like to say on behalf of all my teammates, 'Coach, we love you, and we're going to miss you.'
The event ended after Montana called many of Walsh's former players in attendance to the stage, including Jerry Rice, Roger Craig and Ronnie Lott, to hoist the three Super Bowl trophies the 49ers won under Walsh.