Tampa, FL-- Hundreds of friends and former teammates gathered at the University of Tampa Wednesday night, to pay tribute to former Spartan football star Freddie Solomon, who is battling cancer.
Former San Francisco 49er owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr, Solomon's teammate at UT Vin Hoover, and several others organized "Freddie and Friends" to honor him... and permanently endow a scholarship at UT, in Freddie's name.
The 2-time Super Bowl winner with the 49ers, was diagnosed with colon cancer in April. He underwent surgery, and is now improving.
49er teammates Dwight Clark, Fred Dean, and Eric Wright attended the tribute at the Vaughn Center on the UT Campus. Local sports stars like Lou Piniella, Tino Martinez, Fred McGriff, and Ronde Barber attended, along with hundreds of friends and former teammates.
"Bill Walsh is credited with keeping those early 49er teams loose," said Niner receiver Dwight Clark. "But it was actually Freddie. He had nicknames for everybody on the team, and all kinds of crazy sayings."
"He's so well-loved in Tampa," said former 49er owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr, and a close friend of Freddie. "He's done so much for kids, and just about everyone in Tampa through his work with the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office."
"It's like a football game," Freddie Solomon told 10 News, in talking about his battle with cancer. "You have to have a game plan, and keep fighting. But it's been a strange trip from April, when I was diagnosed, til now."
Freddie Solomon has worked with the Outreach Program of the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office, for the past 20 years. He also hosts a Christmas Party every year, to benefit the Family Enrichment Center.