SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -Former San Francisco 49ers receiver Billy Wilson, a six-time Pro Bowler who starred for the team in the 1950s, died Tuesday. He was 81.
Wilson died peacefully in the presence of his family in Southern California after a battle with cancer, the team said.
Wilson led the NFL in receptions three times during his career from 1951-60, retiring with 407 catches for 5,902 yards and 49 touchdowns. Wilson is fourth all-time for San Francisco in TD catches, fifth in yards receiving and sixth in receptions.
``He was one of the fiercest competitors I ever played with,'' said Wilson's former quarterback, Y.A. Tittle. ``He was our No. 1 receiver. Whenever we needed a big catch, I went to him, because I knew he would make the play.''
Wilson, who played his college ball at San Jose State, led the NFL with 60 catches in 1954, 60 receptions in 1956 and 52 in 1957, when he was a first-team selection to the AP All-Pro team.
``It was a great play and he truly was a great receiver. He is one of the few players of another era that would excel today.''
Wilson worked for the Niners after his playing career as an assistant coach and scout.

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