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Liverpool goalkeeping great Clemence dies aged 72

London (AFP) – Former Liverpool and England goalkeeper Ray Clemence, a key member of three European Cup-winning teams, has died aged 72, his family said on Sunday.

Clemence, who was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2005, was one of the finest ‘keepers of his generation, winning a host of trophies during 14 glittering years at Liverpool.

An £18,000 signing from Scunthorpe in 1967, Clemence was part of the Liverpool team which won the club’s first ever European Cup in 1977.

He also played in their 1978 and 1981 European Cup final triumphs and won the UEFA Cup in 1973 and 1976.

Liverpool clinched five First Division titles with Clemence between the posts, while he also won the 1974 FA Cup and the 1981 League Cup during his time playing for Bill Shankly and his successor Bob Paisley.

Clemence left for Tottenham in 1981, aged 32, for a fee of £300,000 and won another UEFA Cup and the FA Cup in his seven-year stay in north London.

He is survived by his wife Veronica, son Stephen – a former player himself and now a coach – and daughters Sarah and Julie.

“With great sadness, we write to let you know that Ray Clemence passed away peacefully today, surrounded by his loving family,” a statement from the Clemence family said.

“After fighting so hard, for such a long time, he’s now at peace and in no more pain.

“The family would like to say a huge thank you, for all the love and support that he’s received over the years.

“He was loved so much by us all and he will never be forgotten.”

Liverpool paid tribute to Clemence on their Twitter account, saying: “We’re deeply saddened by the passing of one of the greatest-ever goalkeepers, Ray Clemence.”

Tottenham described Clemence as “legendary”.

Clemence won 61 England caps, but would have had many more had he not been competing with Peter Shilton, who accumulated 125, for the number one shirt.

After retiring in 1988, Clemence served on the Tottenham coaching staff, managed Barnet and then worked as England’s goalkeeping coach.

“We are extremely saddened to learn that former Three Lions goalkeeper and coach Ray Clemence has passed away at the age of 72,” a Football Association statement said.

“All of our thoughts are with Ray’s family, friends and former clubs at this time.”

England players will wear black armbands during their Nations League game in Belgium on Sunday and will pay tribute to Clemence before Wednesday’s match against Iceland at Wembley.

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