The San Francisco 49ers announced that legendary running back Frank Gore signed a one-day contract with the team and is officially retiring with the Niners, igniting a storm of celebratory responses across social media on Thursday, June 2, the team announced in a news release on their official website.
Gore, who stands as the franchise’s all-time leading rusher from 2005 to 2014, played his last game in 2020 with the New York Jets and finished his career with the NFL’s third-most rushing yards (16,000 – 11,073 of which were for the Niners).
He’s officially being inducted into the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame, the team said.
According to the Mercury News, Gore requested that no press conference be held upon the ceremonial signing and retirement announcement, so Twitter played a major role in the announcement thanks to the 49ers and the man himself.
The team also posted a dramatic video including some highlights of the 39-year-old over the course of his career with the 49ers.
Gore himself retweeted the video as well, along with the hashtag “#ForeverGrateful.”
‘Frank the Tank’
Fans and the media took to social media to celebrate the news and to congratulate Gore.
“Frank the Tank,” the 49ers tweeted out. The official account also changed their profile photo to one of Gore’s legendary jersey number, 21.
“He was a beast in his 10 seasons in the red & gold,” the league said.
Gore’s son, Frank Gore Jr. also tweeted in support of his father.
“Legend,” Gore Jr. wrote.
“He was one of the players that really made me love watching the ‘Niners play,” one fan wrote. “So happy he’s retiring one of ours. Congrats, LEGEND!”
“The epitome of class and heart,” a sports anchor tweeted. “He played on some absolutely terrible ‘Niners teams and he gave everything to them. He gave us something to cheer for and someone to admire.”
“Frank Gore thrived on some really bad offenses,” someone tweeted while posting a highlight. “Put up stellar numbers while being defenses main focus. We were all lucky to have watched him play for the 49ers.”
“For any 49ers fan, Frank Gore was so easy to root for,” another fan said. “Wearing a red Gore jersey to me always just felt so right to me.”
“Frank Gore is gonna rush for 1,000 yards off into the sunset,” one person said.
‘We Knew This Day Would Come’
49ers CEO Jed York spoke highly of Gore in the news release on the team’s official webpage.
“We are thrilled to induct Frank Gore into the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame, his rightful place among our all-time greats,” York said. “Frank had to overcome many challenges upon entering the NFL and now leaves the game not only as one of the best backs in NFL history, but one of the best football players ever.
“Frank’s 16-year NFL career is a testament to his durability, having played in more games than any other running back in league history. His grit, toughness and commitment to greatness earned him the respect of his coaches, teammates and opponents. We knew this day would come when Frank would retire a 49er and we look forward to The Faithful celebrating his induction into the 49ers Hall of Fame in Levi’s Stadium this upcoming season.”
‘Will Talk About San Francisco as ‘We’ and ‘Us’ for the Rest of My Life’
Gore also had some emotional words and special thanks for receiving the honor.
“One of the very first things I told the 49ers organization when they drafted me in 2005 was that they got the right guy,” said Gore. “I knew early on that I wouldn’t let my college career define me in regards to injuries, and that I would have to outwork a lot of people to get to where I wanted to be. After 10 years in San Francisco and 16 years in the NFL, I can confidently say that I put all I had into the game of football. Football was and is everything to me. From meetings and film study to practice and just being in the locker room, all of it meant the world to me. I am happy to officially close this chapter of my life and proud of what I was able to accomplish and the legacy I leave behind.
“I want to thank my entire family who was with me the entire way. I would also like to thank Denise and Dr. York, Jed York, and each coach I was fortunate enough to play for. To my teammates, the ones I sweat and strained with every game, thank you for continuing to push me to want more and not settle for the status quo. Being inducted into the 49ers Hall of Fame, one of the most historic franchises in all of sports, is something that is hard to put into words. This organization will always be a part of me, one that I will forever associate myself with. I will talk about San Francisco as ‘we’ and ‘us’ for the rest of my life, and will support the 49ers and The Faithful in every way possible.”