Former England goalkeeper Ray Clemence has died at the age of 72

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England goalkeeping great Ray Clemence has died ‘peacefully surrounded by his family’ at the age of 72,  it has today been announced.

The former Liverpool and Tottenham stopper, widely regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of his generation, won three European Cups and five First Division titles during a trophy-laden spell at Anfield,

Clemence, who also saw domestic and European success with Spurs, won 61 caps for the England national side.

After retiring in 1998, and taking a coaching role with the FA, Clemence was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2005.

Today the goalkeeper’s family said in a statement that he was ‘now at peace’ and ‘in no more pain’. 

Tributes have also flooded in, including one from fellow Anfield legend Jamie Carragher, who described Clemence as a ‘Liverpool giant and a giant of a man’.

In a statement, released by the FA, Clemence’s family said: ‘With great sadness we write to let you know that Ray Clemence passed away peacefully today, surrounded by his loving family. 

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

Former Liverpool, Tottenham and England goalkeeper Ray Clemence has died at the age of 72

Clemence was arguably one of the greatest goalkeepers of his generation

Clemence was arguably one of the greatest goalkeepers of his generation

Clemence was arguably one of the greatest goalkeepers of his generation

He won 61 England caps and won three European Cups and five First Division titles

He won 61 England caps and won three European Cups and five First Division titles

He won 61 England caps and won three European Cups and five First Division titles

‘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.’    

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

An £18,000 signing from Scunthorpe by Bill Shankly, Clemence was a key member of the Liverpool team which dominated Europe between 1977 and 1981, and also picked up two UEFA Cups, an FA Cup and the League Cup. 

Clemence is survived by his wife Veronica (left) and three children Sarah, Julie and Stephen

Clemence is survived by his wife Veronica (left) and three children Sarah, Julie and Stephen

Clemence is survived by his wife Veronica (left) and three children Sarah, Julie and Stephen

Clemence has a mural in Liverpool and was a key member of the team that dominated Europe

Clemence has a mural in Liverpool and was a key member of the team that dominated Europe

Clemence has a mural in Liverpool and was a key member of the team that dominated Europe 

The FA released a statement the former goalkeeper had 'passed away peacefully'

The FA released a statement the former goalkeeper had 'passed away peacefully'

The FA released a statement the former goalkeeper had ‘passed away peacefully’

‘He was an extraordinary player and wonderful person,’ says Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

Current Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has paid an emotional tribute to former Liverpool goalkeeper Ray Clemence.

In a statement on Liverpool’s official website, he said: ‘This is an extremely sad moment for everyone associated with Liverpool FC and we, as the current team and management, send all our love to the family.

‘We should never forget it is great players who make great teams and clubs. You only need to listen to the legends of LFC from his era to understand his significance. They say it better than I ever could, that Ray Clemence is one of the reasons our club is such a special one all these years later. He was one of the foundation stones that so much of this club’s success was built on.

‘Our feeling in this moment is of course overwhelmingly sadness, but it is also appreciation. Our fans will remember with fondness an extraordinary player and a wonderful person who contributed so much to Liverpool Football Club.

‘He and his loved ones are in our thoughts and prayers.’

At Tottenham, whom he joined in 1981 aged 32 for a fee of £300,000, he won another UEFA Cup and FA Cup.

He also won 61 caps for England, making his debut against Wales in a World Cup Qualifier in 1972 – which England won 1-0.  

He was a regular for the national side between 1972 and 1983 was part of the Euro 1980 and World Cup 1982 squads.

But his appearances were limited by the brilliance of another England great – Peter Shilton.

Shilton held the Number One shirt for most of the 1980s and obtained 125 caps – an England record which stands today.

Clemence retired  from international football in 1983. He continued to play for Tottenham until 1988 when he retired after suffering an injury a year earlier.

He later held coaching roles with Spurs and with England. 

Today Liverpool paid tribute to their former keeper and Kop legend, as they tweeted: ‘We’re deeply saddened by the passing of one of the greatest ever goalkeepers, 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.’ 

Current Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp paid an emotional tribute to former Liverpool goalkeeper Ray Clemence.

In a statement on Liverpool’s official website, he said: ‘This is an extremely sad moment for everyone associated with Liverpool FC and we, as the current team and management, send all our love to the family.

‘We should never forget it is great players who make great teams and clubs.

‘You only need to listen to the legends of LFC from his era to understand his significance. 

‘They say it better than I ever could, that Ray Clemence is one of the reasons our club is such a special one all these years later.

‘He was one of the foundation stones that so much of this club’s success was built on.’ 

Liverpool FC hero Sir Kenny Dalglish described Clemence as a ‘true legend’.

He added on Twitter: ‘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.’

Liverpool legend and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher paid tribute to Clemence, tweeting: RIP Ray Clemence. An LFC giant who was also a giant of a man. #YNWA’ 

Liverpool paid tribute to their former keeper and Kop legend following the news of his death

Liverpool paid tribute to their former keeper and Kop legend following the news of his death

Liverpool paid tribute to their former keeper and Kop legend following the news of his death

After his playing days, Clemence joined the England coaching set-up as a goalkeeper coach

After his playing days, Clemence joined the England coaching set-up as a goalkeeper coach

After his playing days, Clemence joined the England coaching set-up as a goalkeeper coach

CLEMENCE’S CAREER IN NUMBERS

3 – European Cup triumphs with Liverpool

5 – First Division titles won while at Anfield

16 – a then top-flight record low number of goals conceded over 42 games in the 1978/79 First Division season

61 – England caps, having shared the number one jersey with Peter Shilton

240 – league appearances for Tottenham

323 – clean sheets during his Liverpool career

336 – consecutive games played between September 9, 1972 and March 4, 1978

665 – total appearances for Liverpool before joining Tottenham in the summer of 1981

1972 – Clemence made his England debut in a World Cup qualifier against Wales in November 1972

1983 – his last England cap came during a European Championship qualifier against Luxembourg in November 1983

18,000 – the fee in pounds paid by Liverpool to sign an 18-year-old Clemence from Scunthorpe in the summer of 1967

Reds ambassador and ex-striker Ian Rush posted: ‘RIP Ray Clemence, we have lost a true legend! It was an honour to know you and to get the chance to play with you! My thoughts and prayers are with your family.’

Meanwhile, Peter Shilton, who rivalled Clemence for the Number One shirt with England, also described the news as ‘devastating’.

Writing for MailSport, he said:  ‘This is a devastating day for me. Ray was a rival and an England colleague over the years but more importantly he was my friend.

‘Back in the day we were competitors, both aiming to be England number one. But we always got and even roomed together for ten years on England duty.’

He added: ‘Once before a big England game I was on the sidelines doing some work for Sky and Ray was on the pitch doing some work with Paul Robinson. I realised he was using one of the routines that I had devised.

‘I shouted across to him. “Clem, you have nicked my drills mate!”. He just laughed. It was “Sorry Shilts!!”.

‘That is how I will remember him. That big smile. I still can’t believe he has gone at such a young age.’ 

Piers Morgan also tweeted: ‘More sad news today.. RIP Ray Clemence, 72. One of the greatest goalkeepers in history: 1000+ games incl 61 caps for England, 5 League titles, 3 European Cups, 3 UEFA Cups, 2 FA Cups. Incredible career, and an absolute gentleman.’

Former England international Peter Reid wrote: ‘An absolute legend. RIP Clem.’

Ex-Liverpool player Stan Collymore said: ‘There are many better photos of Ray Clemence, of triumphs and successes.

‘But there aren’t any better than this grainy screen grab of him running towards the Kop as Spurs keeper.

‘A spontaneous two way expression of respect and appreciation. Rest in peace, Clem.’

After his playing days, Clemence joined the England coaching set-up as he joined forces with former Spurs team-mate and then Three Lions boss Glenn Hoddle in 1996.

He continued to be England’s goalkeeping coach under Kevin Keegan, Sven-Goran Eriksson and Steve McClaren until Fabio Capello took charge.

He returned to the national team backroom staff when Roy Hodgson took over and oversaw the goalkeepers at Euro 2012 before retiring one year later. 

Speaking ahead of England’s Nations League game against Belgium tonight, manager Gareth Southgate said: ‘He’s been a wonderful servant for England. Not just for two massive clubs but for England as well.

‘He was an incredible goalkeeper and he represented England for a long time and (did a lot of work) behind the scenes at the FA. 

‘He was a very special man. My thoughts are with his family, and children. I’ve known him over the years and know he had a difficult battle with illness. So my thoughts to go his family.’

Former England left back turned football pundit, Ashley Cole, said: ‘He was always a pleasure to be around, always smiling, so it’s sad news.

‘But again, when you look at the honours he’s won, he was a personality. I remember him going in goal for penalties (during England training) and he could still do bits.’ 

Clemence is survived by his wife Veronica, son Stephen – a former player himself and now a coach – and daughters Sarah and Julie.

PETER SHILTON: Ray Clemence was my rival on the field and we competed for the England No 1 shirt… but off it we were always great mates, roomed together for 10 years and never talked about football

This is a devastating day for me. Ray was a rival and an England colleague over the years but more importantly he was my friend.

I knew he had been unwell and in hospital. We had exchanged texts and the last one I have from him was a ‘thumbs up’. He did not want people to worry about him. That was typical of him.

Back in the day we were competitors, both aiming to be England number one. But we always got and even roomed together for ten years on England duty. And the thing is, we never talked about football.

Ray Clemence (left) and Peter Shilton pictured on international duty with England in 1979. They were club rivals and competed for the England gloves, but were also close friends

Ray Clemence (left) and Peter Shilton pictured on international duty with England in 1979. They were club rivals and competed for the England gloves, but were also close friends

Ray Clemence (left) and Peter Shilton pictured on international duty with England in 1979. They were club rivals and competed for the England gloves, but were also close friends 

Ray was a warm man with a great sense of humour so would spend most of our time laughing. It was not frowned upon to socialise on England duty back then and even have a drink and we used to do that. 

He was great fun on a night out and that continued once we had both retired, at reunions and golf days and things. It was always great to see him.

On the field he was a very natural goalkeeper. He was tall and incredibly athletic and had great hands. Ray was totally reliable and unfussy. He was not showy or extravagant but of his era there were very few better.

For a while I was at Nottingham Forest while he was at Liverpool and there was great rivalry between the clubs. But for us it never changed a thing. We were mates.

Shilton and Clemence competed for the England No 1 jersey for a decade and were club rivals

Shilton and Clemence competed for the England No 1 jersey for a decade and were club rivals

Shilton and Clemence competed for the England No 1 jersey for a decade and were club rivals

The two England goalkeepers pictured during a training session in January 1973

The two England goalkeepers pictured during a training session in January 1973

The two England goalkeepers pictured during a training session in January 1973

For a period England manager Ron Greenwood used to rotate me and Ray. One game, I would play and the next it would be Ray. 

But for the 1982 World Cup in Spain Ron decided that only one of us would play and he sat us down and told us that it was going to me. 

I know how I would have felt had I been Ray’s position but he never let that disappointment or upset show. He just got on with it and I can’t pay him any greater compliment than that really.

Shilton (left) and Clemence flank Kevin Keegan in a 1981 picture from England duty

Shilton (left) and Clemence flank Kevin Keegan in a 1981 picture from England duty

Shilton (left) and Clemence flank Kevin Keegan in a 1981 picture from England duty

England manager Ron Greenwood rotated the goalkeeping duties between the pair

England manager Ron Greenwood rotated the goalkeeping duties between the pair

England manager Ron Greenwood rotated the goalkeeping duties between the pair 

I think Ray would admit that I was a more enthusiastic trainer than he was but of course he went on to be a very good and respected goalkeeping coach with England.

Once before a big England game I was on the sidelines doing some work for Sky and Ray was on the pitch doing some work with Paul Robinson. I realised he was using one of the routines that I had devised.

I shouted across to him. ‘Clem, you have nicked my drills mate!’. He just laughed. It was ‘Sorry Shilts!!’.

That is how I will remember him. That big smile. I still can’t believe he has gone at such a young age.

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