William Clay Matthews Sr. (Clay) was born August 1, 1928 in Charleston, SC. His father Matty Matthews coached boxing, baseball, and track at The Citadel. He graduated from Charleston High School, and then went on to play college football for Georgia Tech. Clay Sr. was drafted 247th overall by the Los Angeles Rams in 1949, but never played a snap for the organization. He began his rookie season as an offensive tackle for the San Francisco 49ers in 1950.
His career was abruptly interrupted after his first year, as he became a paratrooper for the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division in the Korean War. Clay Sr. returned to the 49ers in 1953 where he played for another 3 seasons. After completing his NFL career, he entered the business world, eventually becoming the president of the company Bell & Howell. He is most known for being the patriarch of the Matthews family of football players.
He is the father of Pro Football Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews and Pro Bowler Clay Matthews Jr. He is grandfather of former Green Bay Packers and LA Rams linebacker Clay Matthews III, current Atlanta Falcons offensive tackle Jake Matthews, and former NFL players Kevin, Mike and Casey Matthews. Clay Matthews Sr. passed away in Mount Pleasant, SC on March 23, 2017 at the age of 88. His sons Clay Jr., Bruce and his wife Carolyn came to celebrate and accept the honor on his behalf.
Video created by Prominence Media. Source: The Matthews Family