Former England Goalkeeper, Ray Clemence Dies At 72

Former Liverpool, Tottenham and England goalkeeper Ray Clemence died on Sunday at the age of 72, announced by the England FA.

Clemence, who won three European Cups and five First Division titles during a trophy-laden spell at Anfield, was arguably one of the greatest goalkeepers of his generation.

Ray Clemence won three European Cups and five First Division titles with Liverpool; The goalkeeper also won a UEFA Cup and FA Cup with Tottenham Hotspur; Clemence won 61 caps for England between 1972 and 1983

He won 61 England caps, which would undoubtedly have been many more had he not been competing with Peter Shilton, who accumulated 125, for the No 1 shirt.

Sven-Goran Eriksson leads the tributes to former England goalkeeper Ray Clemence, who has died at the age of 72

“With great sadness, we write to let you know that Ray Clemence passed away peacefully today, surrounded by his loving family,” said a statement from the Clemence family.

“After fighting so hard, for such a long time, he’s now at peace and in no more pain.

“The family would like to say a huge thank you for all the love and support that he’s received over the years.

“He was loved so much by us all and he will never be forgotten.”

Clemence made 665 appearances for Liverpool during a long and distinguished career. Credit: Allsport UK /Allsport

Image:Clemence made 665 appearances for Liverpool during a long and distinguished career. Credit: Allsport UK/Allsport

Clemence began his career at Scunthorpe United in 1966 where he made 46 appearances for the Third Division club before Liverpool manager Bill Shankly bought the 18-year-old for £18,000 in June 1967.

The young goalkeeper had to bide his time in the reserves before replacing Tommy Lawrence on a permanent basis during the 1969-70 campaign.

Clemence made an incredible 665 appearances for the Reds, winning five league titles, three European Cups, two UEFA Cups, the European Super Cup, FA Cup and League Cup.

Sky Sports News reporter Rob Dorsett says England will wear black armbands against Belgium to honour their former goalkeeper

He played 336 games without missing a single match from September 1972 until March 1978 while only two players have made more first-team appearances for the club – Ian Callaghan and Jamie Carragher.

Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Real Madrid in the 1981 European Cup final at the Parc des Princes turned out to be Clemence’s last game for the Reds before he joined Tottenham for £300,000.

Clemence played 240 times for Tottenham. Credit: David Cannon/Allsport
Image:Clemence played over 300 times for Tottenham. Credit: David Cannon/Allsport

He made his league debut for Spurs against Middlesbrough in August 1981 and went on to play over 300 times for the London club.

Injury forced Clemence to forfeit his place in the side for the 1984 UEFA Cup final win over Anderlecht, but he was on the bench in a match famously won when Tony Parks saved twice during the penalty shoot-out.

He reached a fifth FA Cup final in 1987 when Spurs lost to Coventry and became one of a select group of players to appear in five or more FA Cup finals.

Clemence, seen here on international duty in 1972, made 61 appearances for England
Image:Clemence, seen here on international duty in 1972, made 61 appearances for England

An Achilles injury sustained against Norwich in October 1987 forced Clemence to retire from playing in 1988. He later joined the coaching staff at Tottenham and England as well as managing Barnet between 1994 and 1996.

Tributes paid to goalkeeping great

England’s players wore black armbands during their UEFA Nations League game in Belgium on Sunday evening and will pay tribute to Clemence before Wednesday’s match against Iceland at Wembley.

Clemence served as England goalkeeping coach under four managers – including Sven Goran Eriksson – who said: “I’m really sorry for him and his family. As a player, he was one of the best ever. To work with him was fantastic.

England manager Gareth Southgate has paid tribute to Ray Clemence and says the former Liverpool and Tottenham goalkeeper was a ‘wonderful servant for English football’

“I was very keen to keep him as long as I was manager of England. He was positive, he was happy, he had good humour. He was very skilful too as a goalkeeping coach.

“When I started the [England managerial] job, I asked him who was the best goalkeeper, and he chose sometimes. I trusted him 110 per cent.

“He was a great man to me, not only on a professional level, but also a great man personally and we became close friends.”

Another former England boss, Fabio Capello, added: “Ray was a fantastic person and a good friend. He was a very important member of the England coaching staff, liked and respected by everyone.

“When I first arrived in England I remembered Ray as a brilliant goalkeeper with Liverpool, Tottenham and the national team. He was also an excellent goalkeeper coach. A gentleman who had a great sense of humour.

“We often played golf together with Sir Trevor Brooking which I always enjoyed. I really appreciated his knowledge and loyal support while I was the England manager. I would like to send my deepest condolences to all of Ray’s family.”

Liverpool also paid tribute to their former player, posting on Twitter: “We’re deeply saddened by the passing of one of the greatest ever goalkeepers, Ray Clemence.

Gareth Southgate, Jamie Redknapp and Ashley Cole pay tribute to Ray Clemence

“The thoughts of everyone at Liverpool Football Club are with Ray’s family and many friends.

“Rest in peace, Ray Clemence 1948-2020.”

Sir Kenny Dalglish described Clemence as a “true legend”.

“Clem was a fantastic team-mate and great to be around,” he said. “I will never forget how he helped me to settle in at Anfield. Our thoughts are with the Clemence family. RIP Clem.”

Tottenham tweeted: “We are deeply saddened to report the passing of legendary former goalkeeper Ray Clemence.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to Ray’s family and many friends throughout the game at this sad time.”

Ossie Ardiles, who played with Clemence at Tottenham, tweeted: “So so sad to heard the news of Raymondo passing away. He was a great goalkeeper, wonderful companion, friend. He battled this illness right until the very end. We will miss you. Rest in peace my friend. My family and my thoughts and prayers go out to Vee, her family and friends.”

Alan Kennedy has paid tribute to his former Liverpool team-mate Ray Clemence, who has died at the age of 72

Clemence’s long-time rival for the England No 1 spot Shilton tweeted: “I’m absolutely devastated to be told of the sad news that @RayClem1 has just passed away.

“We were rivals but good friends. Ray was a brilliant goalkeeper with a terrific sense of humour. I will miss him a great deal as we’ve kept friends long after retiring. RIP my friend.”

League Managers Association chairman Howard Wilkinson described Clemence as “world-class” both as a player and coach.

Wilkinson, who worked with Clemence during his time at the FA, said: “My long association with England’s teams, through working with Ron Greenwood, Bobby Robson, Kevin Keegan and as technical director of The FA, provided me with the opportunity to get to know Ray Clemence.

“His world-class talent as a goalkeeper and a coach was there for all to see. I consider it my good fortune to have known Ray, not just as a colleague but as a friend, and I have to say that was a real privilege.

“Ray will be very sorely missed.”

Source: Skysports

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