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Ray Clemence: former England, Liverpool and Spurs goalkeeping legend passes away at 72

Ray Clemence

According to an announcement made by the Football Federation earlier today, Ray Clemence, the former goalkeeper for England had died, he was 72 years old at the time of his death. Often considered as one of the best goalkeepers of his generation, Clemence is one of the 29 players who have made more than 1,000 career appearances.

He was first diagnosed with cancer in 2005, prostate cancer to be precise. He also underwent brain surgery in 2012 when a tumor was removed from his brain. After fighting cancer for 15 years, he finally died today.

Clemence’s family in their official statement said that “With great sadness, we write to let you know that Ray Clemence passed away peacefully today, surrounded by his loving family.” His family thanked his supporters for all the love and support they showed over the years. They further added that, after fighting hard for so long, he is finally at peace now, with no more pain. He left behind his wife Veronica, daughters Julie and Sarah, and his son Stephen.

Ray Clemence had a fabulous football career, winning a whopping total of 61 England caps, that too while competing with the current record holder English goalkeeper Peter Shilton. When he joined Liverpool in 1967, Clemence was just an 18 years old kid, signed for £18,000. Until 1970, he was mostly side benched, nurtured, before he became the Reds’ first choice for goalkeeping. Before moving to Tottenham Hotspur eventually in 1981, he won the First Division five times as well as three European Cups and a few domestic cups as well. With the Spurs, he got the UEFA cup another time as well as the FA cup.

After his retirement in 1988, Ray Clemence joined the Spurs coaching staff. Eventually, he joined the English coaching staff in 1996, when his former teammate Glen Hoddle recruited him as the goalkeeping coach, a position he held until 2007. Before finally retiring in 2013, Clemence acted as the head of the FA’s Development team, a man with a vast career indeed.

Held high by both the Tottenham and Liverpool fans, Clemence was voted number 11 on the list of top 100 players who had a big impact on the club, Liverpool FC. He was chosen as the netkeeper for the BBC’s Merseyside team of the 20th century as well. To this day, he still holds the record of the most number of clean sheets for the Reds, 323 clean sheets in 665 appearances.

During an interview with the Prostate Cancer UK in 2008, Clemence stated that men like him only last five to six years with prostate cancer, but he was doing 13 years with it and still doing the things he wants in life, saying that “I want to continue enjoying life as long as I possibly can.”

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