Liverpool Goalkeeping Great Clemence Dies Aged 72

After the former Liverpool and England goalkeeper, a core member of three European Cup-winning teams, died at the age of 72, Kenny Dalglish led the tributes to Ray Clemence on Sunday.

Clemence, who was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2005, was one of his generation's finest keepers, collecting a host of trophies in Liverpool over 14 glittering years, reports AFP.

Clemence was part of the Liverpool squad that won the club's first ever European Cup in 1977 with the signing of o18,000 from Scunthorpe in 1967.

He also played in their final European Cup triumphs in 1978 and 1981 and won the UEFA Cup in 1973 and 1976.

With Clemence, Liverpool clinched five first division titles between the posts, though during his time playing for Bill Shankly and his replacement, Bob Paisley, he also won the 1974 FA Cup and the 1981 League Cup.

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 o300,000 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.”

During their Nations League game in Belgium on Sunday, England players will wear black armbands and will pay tribute to Clemence before the match against Iceland at Wembley on Wednesday.

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