Former English National Team goalkeeper Ray Clemence of Skegness, England passed away at the age of 72 on Sunday. The cause of death was prostate cancer, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation.
Clemence played 61 games with the English national team from 1972 to 1983. In addition to playing for England internationally, Clemence played 953 games in English professional soccer from 1965 to 1988 with Scunthorpe United, Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur.
It was Clemence’s time in Liverpool as their all-star goalkeeper that he will be best remembered by. He had 665 caps with the Reds from 1967 to 1981. Over that time Clemence backstopped Liverpool to the 1977 European Super Cup, five Football League First Division titles (1972-73, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1978-79, and 1979-80), three European Cups (1976-77, 1977-78, and 1980-81), the 1974 FA Cup, the 1980-81 League Cup, and was a five-time winner of the Football Association Charity Shield (1974, 1976, 1977, 1979, and 1980).
The European Cup is like the Champions League today. Liverpool beat Borussia Monchengladbach 3-1 in the 1977 final from Rome, then Belgium’s Club Brugge 1-0 in the 1978 final from Wembley Stadium in London, and then Real Madrid 1-0 in the 1981 final from Paris. Clemence got the start in all three championship games.
After Clemence’s 15 years in Liverpool, he spent eight years in Tottenham Hotspur where he played 240 additional more games. In this time, Clemence won the 1981 FA Charity Shield and the 1982 FA Cup.
At the 1982 World Cup in Spain, Clemence was the backup goalkeeper for England. He played behind Peter Shilton of Leicester. Even though England was undefeated with a record of three wins and two draws, they were unable to qualify for the semifinals.
When Clemence retired from professional soccer as a goalkeeper in 1988, he was hired to be part of the Tottenham Hotspur coaching staff. In 1994, Clemence then joined Barnet as their manager. Then from 1996 to 2007, Clemence was the goalkeeping coach for the English National Team. He was in that position for the 1998 World Cup in France, the 2002 World Cup in Japan/South Korea, and the 2006 World Cup in Germany.