Ray Clemence, England and Liverpool Goalkeeper, Dead at 72

Former England, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Ray Clemence passed away on Nov. 15. He was 72. The Football Association confirmed the news with a statement. The Guardian reports that Clemence had faced prostate cancer for many years prior to his death.

"With great sadness we write to let you know that Ray Clemence passed away peacefully today, surrounded by his loving family," FA said on Sunday. "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 began his career with Scunthorpe United in 1965, ultimately making 45 caps (appearances) for the team. He then joined Liverpool in June 1967, kicking off a 14-year tenure with the team. He made 470 appearances for Liverpool and another 65 for England's national team. Clemence found considerable success during his time with Liverpool, winning three European Cups, five First Division championships, two Uefa Cups, a FA Cup and a League Cup.

The talented goalkeeper left Liverpool for Tottenham Hotspur in 1981 for a fee of £300,000. He remained with the team until 1988 and appeared in another 240 matches. Clemence found more success on the field during his time with the Spurs, winning another FA Cup and Uefa Cup.

"I'm absolutely devastated to be told of the sad news that Ray Clemence has just passed away," former goalkeeper Peter Shilton said, per Reuters. "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."

Clemence retired from football in 1988 at age 40, ending his career with more than 1,000 match appearances. He then moved into coaching and worked with both England and Spurs. He started with the Spurs but joined England in 1996 to become a goalkeeping coach.

He remained in the position until 2007 when Franco Tancredi took over. However, Clemence continued to work as part of the backroom staff, ultimately returning to the goalkeeping coach position in 2012. One year later, Clemence retired from coaching.


"I'm deeply saddened to hear the passing of Ray Clemence," said former England and Liverpool goalkeeper David James. "Clem was my coach with England for more than a decade. A lovely man with a wicked left foot, I had a poster of him on my bedroom wall as a kid."