Clay Matthews Sr.

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Clay Matthews Sr.
No. 83
Personal information
Born:(1928-08-01)August 1, 1928
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
Died:March 23, 2017(2017-03-23) (aged 88)
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, U.S.
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:219 lb (99 kg)
Career information
High school:Charleston (SC)
College:Georgia Tech
NFL Draft:1949 / Round: 25 / Pick: 247
(by the Los Angeles Rams)[1]
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at · PFR

William Clay Matthews Sr. (August 1, 1928 – March 23, 2017) was an American football tackle and patriarch of the Matthews family of football players. Matthews played for four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL), the first in 1950. When the Korean War broke out, Matthews enlisted as a paratrooper for the Army's 82nd Airborne Division. In 1953, he returned to the 49ers for three seasons.[2] He played college football at Georgia Tech. He was drafted in the 25th round of the 1949 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams before being traded to the 49ers.

After completing his NFL career, he began a career in business, eventually becoming the president of Bell & Howell, a manufacturing company.[3]

His father, H. L. Matthews, coached boxing, baseball, and track at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina.[4]

Matthews's sons, Clay Matthews Jr. and Bruce Matthews, played in the NFL in the 1970s to the 1990s, the latter inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Numerous grandsons have played in the NFL as well, including Clay Matthews III, Kevin, Jake, and Casey Matthews.[4]

Matthews died at the age of 88 on March 23, 2017, in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.[5]


  1. ^ "1949 Los Angeles Rams". Archived from the original on January 4, 2010. Retrieved July 17, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  2. ^ Branch, John (2011). "For Matthews Clan, N.F.L. Is All in the Family". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  3. ^ Wood, Ryan (December 6, 2014). "Toughness spans Matthews family's NFL legacy". Packers News. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Gene Sapakoff (February 21, 2011). "Charleston's first family of football". Post and Courier. Charleston, South Carolina. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  5. ^ McClain, John (March 24, 2017). "Clay Matthews Sr., football family patriarch, dies at 88".

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