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  • Matt Dunham / The Associated Press

    Former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana throws a mini-football into the crowd at a fan forum in London on Saturday morning.

  • Matt Dunham / The Associated Press

    A Montana fan shows his support for the 49ers great at a rally in Trafalgar Square. Montana was the life of the party at a fan forum.

Montana still Joe Cool in eyes of fans

Published: Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 9C

Joe Montana was the life of the party at a fan forum Saturday morning at the Landmark Hotel in London.

The former 49ers quarterback was asked about his relationship with Steve Young, and he had a quip at the ready.

"Did you ever have anybody try to take your job?" he asked a group of 200 mostly British fans, some wearing red-and-white No. 16 jerseys.

Montana, 57, received several more laughs, including when he was asked about the 49ers' impending move from Candlestick Park in San Francisco to Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

Montana began seriously, saying he wasn't happy that the "people in power" in San Francisco failed to keep the 49ers.

Still, he said it was hard to feel nostalgic for decrepit Candlestick.

"It could not rain for a year, and you'd go in there and it's soaking wet," he said of the field that players nicknamed "The Quagmire."

He said fans will learn to love the new stadium, adding, "It's not like it's in Oakland."

Another line that drew laughs – but fell flat for some – was when a fan asked Montana if he had any lingering injuries from his playing days. "Um, I can't remember," he deadpanned.

Montana later said he's had six or seven knee surgeries, three back injuries, two neck injuries and a torn elbow tendon. He said he would need knee-replacement surgery but was holding off on it as long as possible.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and former Jaguars tackle Tony Boselli also attended the event. Montana also spoke at an NFL rally at Trafalgar Square on Saturday afternoon.

– Matthew Barrows

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Matthew Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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