Hall of Fame - Ray Clemence


Ray Clemence, MBE (born 5 August, 1948 in Skegness, England) was one of English and European Football (soccer)|football's best and most decorated goalkeepers, part of the all-conquering Liverpool_F.C.|Liverpool team of the 1970s.

Clemence made his debut for Scunthorpe United F.C.|Scunthorpe United in 1966 and was spotted and signed by Liverpool manager Bill Shankly a year later. He was nurtured through the reserve side over the next two years, with the occasional senior appearance, until 1970, at which point he became the club's first choice goalkeeper.

In 1971, Liverpool reached the FA Cup final where Clemence played well but was powerless to prevent Arsenal F.C.|Arsenal scoring twice in extra time to peg back Liverpool's lead and win the game 2-1. However, there would be joy for Clemence two seasons later when Liverpool won both the Football League|League title and UEFA Cup, with Clemence saving a penalty in the final of the latter. The following year Liverpool won the FA Cup with a 3-0 win over Newcastle United F.C.|Newcastle United.

Clemence was, by now, a regular for England national football team|England but the presence of Peter Shilton meant that the England management struggled to decide which keeper was the best, and ended up alternating their selection.

With Clemence in goal, Liverpool won another League and UEFA Cup double in 1976 and then made a courageous bid for a unique treble a year later. They achieved the first leg when they won the League title, but then lost the FA Cup final to Manchester United F.C.|Manchester United. A concolation was to be had a few days later, however, when they won the European Cup for the first time, defeating Borussia Munchengladbach 3-1, with Clemence making a series of important saves.

Liverpool retained the European Cup in 1978 with a narrow 1-0 win over Club Brugge at Wembley Stadium|Wembley, but conceded their League title to Nottingham Forest, to whom they also lost in the League Cup final. in 1979 and 1980, Clemence kept goal as Liverpool clinched the League title again, and in 1981 they won the League Cup and then the European Cup for the third time, which ultimately proved to be Clemence's last game for the club.

The emergence of Rhodesian-born keeper Bruce Grobbelaar put Clemence under threat for his place for the first time in eleven years (during which period he played in more than 650 matches and missed a mere six) and he decided to join Tottenham Hotspur F.C.|Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of 300,000 pounds. Ironically, the two clubs reached the 1982 League Cup final, which Liverpool won 3-1. Spurs did, however, win the FA Cup, defeating Queens Park Rangers F.C.|QPR after a replay.

Clemence's international career was event-free, in that it coincided with England's least successful era, failing to qualify for two Football World Cup|World Cups in 1974 and 1978. Clemence was part of the squad which qualified for Ec2|1980 but this ended in failure. In 1982, he was in the squad which qualified for the World Cup, but again England did not progress as far as hoped. Clemence retired from international football shortly afterwards with a total of 61 caps. His rival Shilton ended up as first choice keeper for the rest of the 1980s, played in two more World Cups and attained a record 125 caps.

Spurs won the UEFA Cup in 1984 but Clemence missed the final through injury. He did reach a fifth FA Cup final in 1987, when his side lost to Coventry City F.C.|Coventry City. He is in a select group of players who have appeared in five or more FA Cup finals.

He retired in 1988 and joined the coaching staff at Spurs, working his way through to the first team, before leaving to become manager of Barnet F.C.|Barnet in 1994. Three years later, he was recruited by his former Spurs and England team-mate Glenn Hoddle as goalkeeping coach for the England team, a position he continued to hold under Hoddle's successors Kevin Keegan and Sven-Göran Eriksson. He remains in that position to this day, and occasionally works as a pundit on TV and radio.

Clemence was awarded an Order of the British Empire|MBE for services to football. His son, Stephen Clemence|Stephen, is a midfield player who came through the ranks at Spurs and now plays for Birmingham City F.C.

On February 2 2005 Clemence announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and that he would spend time away from the England squad whilst he receives treatment. He is the second member of Eriksson's staff to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, Brian Kidd was diagnosed with the disease prior to Ec2|2004.


Date of Birth - 05 Aug 1948

Birthplace - Skegness

Nationality - English

Signed for LFC - 1967

LFC Debut - 25 Sep 1968

LFC Appearances - 665

International Caps - 61


Last Updated 9th February 2010


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