Liverpool goalkeeping great Clemence dies aged 72
Kenny Dalglish led the tributes to Ray Clemence on Sunday after the former Liverpool and England goalkeeper, a key member of three European Cup-winning teams, died aged 72.
Clemence, who was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2005, was one of the finest ‘keepers of his generation, winning a host of trophies during 14 glittering years at Liverpool.
An £18,000 signing from Scunthorpe in 1967, Clemence was part of the Liverpool team which won the club’s first ever European Cup in 1977.
He also played in their 1978 and 1981 European Cup final triumphs and won the UEFA Cup in 1973 and 1976.
Liverpool clinched five First Division titles with Clemence between the posts, while he also won the 1974 FA Cup and the 1981 League Cup during his time playing for Bill Shankly and his successor Bob Paisley.
He is survived by his wife Veronica, son Stephen – a former player himself and now a coach – and daughters Sarah and Julie.
Anfield icon Dalglish, who played with Clemence for four years, tweeted: “Clem was a fantastic teammate and great to be around. I will never forget how he helped me to settle in at Anfield.
“Our thoughts are with the Clemence family. RIP Clem.”
Clemence left for Tottenham in 1981, aged 32, for a fee of £300,000 and won another UEFA Cup and the FA Cup in his seven-year stay in north London.
Ossie Ardiles, who played with Clemence at Tottenham, tweeted: “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.”
Liverpool paid tribute to Clemence on their Twitter account, saying: “We’re deeply saddened by the passing of one of the greatest-ever goalkeepers, Ray Clemence.”
Clemence won 61 England caps, but would have had many more had he not been competing with Peter Shilton, who accumulated 125, for the number one shirt.
“I’m absolutely devastated to be told of the sad news that Ray has just passed away. Ray was a brilliant goalkeeper with a terrific sense of humour. I will miss him a great deal,” Shilton said.
After retiring in 1988, Clemence served on the Tottenham coaching staff, managed Barnet and then worked as England’s goalkeeping coach under Sven-Goran Eriksson.
“As a player he was one of the best ever, to work together with him was fantastic,” Eriksson said.
“He was a great man for me, not only professionally but personally and we became close friends.”
England players will wear black armbands during their Nations League game in Belgium on Sunday and will pay tribute to Clemence before Wednesday’s match against Iceland at Wembley.
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