Ray Clemence - 1948-2020
Just hours before England kicked off their Nations League fixture against Belgium, the incredibly sad news of Ray Clemence’s passing was announced following a long battle with prostate cancer.
Clemence is a giant of the English game for his exploits as both a player and coach with the national team, not to mention a highly decorated club career which included three European Cups, five league titles and two FA Cups with Liverpool and Spurs.
England could hardly have asked for more of a wealth in goalkeeping talent through the 70’s and 80’s, with Clemence and Shilton battling it out for the number one jersey and with little to separate the two, would often swap the number one jersey between each other. Never again has an England manager enjoyed such goalkeeping riches.
Clemence’s profound impact on the national team was not limited to his eleven-year stint in the squad, as in 1996 Glen Hoddle recruited the Skeggy-born legend as England’s goalkeeping coach and he remained on the backroom staff for the next six England managers, before retiring in 2013.
Possibly the most successful English goalkeeper of all time in regard to his club career, Clemence was voted in BBC Merseyside’s team of the 20th century and is still widely regarded as the best keeper in Liverpool’s distinguished history.
The Goalkeeper’s Union has lost one of the very best.