Aegina Expat
Feb 1, 2005
Thread starter #1
Clemence is one of a rare breed of footballers who can truthfully lay claim to the title 'legend' at more than one club.

Ray Clemence joined Liverpool for £18,000 on the 24 June 1967. He made his debut and kept his first clean-sheet in a League Cup 3rd round tie at Anfield on the 25 September 1968, Swansea City were the visitors and were beaten 2-0. 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. [ar]

In 1971, Liverpool reached the FA Cup final where Clemence played well but was powerless to prevent 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 League title and UEFA Cup, with Clemence saving a penalty in the final of the latter against Borussia Mönchengladbach. The penalty save meant that Liverpool took a 3-0 lead to Germany with them rather than a 3-1, Gladbach won 2-0 on their home soil and if Jupp Heynckes had beaten Clem from the spot the tie would have finished 3-3 on aggregate with the Germans winning on the away goals rule.

1973/74 saw Liverpool claim yet more silverware winning the F.A Cup at a canter with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Newcastle United.

Clemence was, by now, a regular for England making his debut and keeping his first clean-sheet in the 1-0 World Cup qualifier win over Wales at Ninian Park on the 15 November 1972, unfortunately for Clemence the presence of another great goalkeeper Peter Shilton meant that the England management struggled to decide which keeper was the best, and ended up alternating their selection. To prove this point without Shilton, Clemance would have surely topped 100 caps, whilst Shilton would have ended up with 185 England caps if Clemance had not been around.

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 F.A Cup final to bitter rivals Manchester United a result that affected Clem and saw him trudge forelornly off the Wembley turf. A consolation was to be had a few days later, however, when the Reds won the European Cup for the first time, defeating Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-1, with Clemence, again, being a thorn in the Gladbach side making a series of important saves.

Liverpool retained the European Cup in 1978 with a narrow 1-0 win over Club Brugge at 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 both seasons League titles, the '79 title success saw Clemence set a record that was never beaten, under the 2 points for a win system the Merseysiders gained 68 points, Liverpool also only conceded a miserly 16 goals (just 4 at Anfield) which was then a record only beaten recently by Chelsea who conceded 15, although, it has to be said, the Reds had to play 4 more matches, 42 compared to the Blues 38. Once again in 1981 silverware proudly sat in the Anfield trophy room as they won the League Cup and the European Cup for the third time, the 1-0 win over Real Madrid at the Parc des Princes on the 27 May ultimately proving to be Clemence's last game for the club.

The emergence of the South African-born 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 ended his association with Liverpool by joining Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £300,000. The two clubs reached the 1982 League Cup final, which Liverpool won 3-1. Spurs did, however, win the FA Cup, defeating QPR 1-0 after a 1-1 draw.

Clem's Spurs debut came in a league fixture at Ayresome Park on the 28 August '81, Middlesbrough couldn't prevent Clemence starting off with win, losing as they did, by 3 goals to 1, his first clean-sheet came 3 games later on the 12 September at Molineux, when he kept Wolverhampton Wanderers at bay in the 1-0 victory.

Clemence's international career was event-free, in that it coincided with England's least successful era, failing to qualify for two World Cups in 1974 and 1978. Clemence was part of the squad which qualified for Euro 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, playing in two more World Cups and attained a record 125 caps. Clem also had the distinction of captaining England, once, the first keeper to do so since the great Frank Swift, the game in question was a prestigious friendly with Brazil Clemence couldn't prevent the Brazilians from scoring as England lost by a goal to nil.

Spurs won the UEFA Cup in 1984 but Clemence missed the final through injury. He did reach a fifth F.A Cup final in 1987, when his side lost to Coventry City. He is in a select group of players who have appeared in five or more F.A 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 joint manager of Barnet (with fellow goalkeeper Gary 'sumo' Phillips) in January 1994.

At the start of the 1994/5 season, Ray took sole charge leading Barnet to 9th and 13th in Division 3. In August 1996 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 under Steve McClaren, he is also the head of the F.A's Head of Development Team his role is to oversee the England under 16's, 17's, 18's, 19's and 20 sides working with England U21 coach Stuart Pearce in monitoring the players progress to the U21 side. He also occasionally works as a pundit on TV and radio.

Clemence was awarded an MBE for services to football. His son, Stephen, is a midfield player who came through the ranks at Spurs and Birmingham City He now plays for Leicester City. [al]

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 was the second member of Eriksson's staff to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, Brian Kidd was diagnosed with the disease prior to Euro 2004.

Clemence is still held in very high regard by the Anfield faithful and was voted in at No.11 on the Official Liverpool Football Club web site poll 100 Players Who Shook The Kop, he was also the highest placed goalkeeper.

He was also chosen as goalkeeper in the BBC's Merseyside team of the 20th Century, he also topped the magazine Total Football's poll of the best ever goalkeeper, beating the likes of Shilton, Lev Yashin, Gordon Banks and our very own Pat Jennings.

I couldn't find much Spurs related with Clemence in on YouTube but here's a clip related to his time at Liverpool, to give you a flavour of the kind of player he was.

Ray played 470 times for Liverpool and 240 times for Tottenham Hotspur and not only is considered a legend by fans of both clubs, he's an all time great in his own right.

One of my all time favourite Spurs players, Ray Clemence should have won many more caps than the 61 he did get. A player who won five european trophies, three of which were European Cups, one of THE great goalkeepers of all time.