The San Francisco 49ers announced they will honor all-time great running back Joe Perry with a helmet decal in the upcoming season. The decal (picture after the jump) will be the number 34 inside a football. Players will wear the decal on their helmets, while coaches and 49ers staff will wear lapel pins with the same design.
49ers owner John York spoke of the planned honor:
"It is important for the 49ers organization to embrace and honor its storied history, as well as those who have contributed to it along the way," said 49ers Owner and Co-Chair John York. "I am excited to announce that the team will recognize a tremendous human being, Joe Perry, with a helmet decal throughout the 2011 season. He exemplifies the excellence and class that this organization strives for. In a sense, Joe will take the field one last time as a 49er this season."
Many 49ers fans look at the franchise in light of the last 30 years since the start of the Bill Walsh era. Since Walsh came aboard, the team has had a host of great running backs, including Roger Craig, Ricky Watters, Charlie Garner, and now Frank Gore. However, before the current era, Joe Perry was the standard-bearer at running back and he remains the franchise's all-time leading rusher. He rushed for 8,689 over 14 seasons with the 49ers, split between the NFL and the AAFC.