San Francisco 49ers: 15 most beloved fan favorites in franchise history

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NaVorro Bowman, San Francisco 49ers

NaVorro Bowman, San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)


NaVorro Bowman

LB, (2010-17)

One can only wonder the kind of career linebacker NaVorro Bowman would have had if he somehow managed to avoid the devastating knee injury he suffered during the 2014 NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks. A 2016 Achilles tear didn’t help either.

But that didn’t change the fact Bowman emerged as one of the most dominant linebackers in franchise history — a point not lost on 49ers fans everywhere, especially considering he sacrificed his body, and possibly his career, to try pushing San Francisco into the Super Bowl back in 2014.

In addition to being one half of perhaps the greatest linebacking tandem in recent NFL memory, Bowman also earns a spot on this list for his “Pick at the Stick” against the Atlanta Falcons in December 2013, the final game at Candlestick Park and a venue with so many red and gold memories:

The 49ers eventually moved on from Bowman in 2017, and he spent the rest of the year with the cross-bay rivals in the Oakland Raiders before going unsigned in 2018.

Admit it, though. You got a little teary eyed when you found out Bowman was returning to San Francisco to retire with the 49ers.

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