ributes to Ray Clemence have poured in from the football world after the former Liverpool, Tottenham and England goalkeeper died on Sunday at the age of 72.
Clemence, who won three European Cups and five First Division titles during a trophy-laden spell at Anfield, was arguably one of the greatest goalkeepers of his generation.
He won 61 England caps, competing with Peter Shilton for the no.1 shirt.
Shilton tweeted: “I’m absolutely devastated to be told of the sad news that [Clemence] has just passed away.
“We were rivals but good friends Ray was a brilliant goalkeeper with a terrific sense of humour I will miss him a great deal as we’ve kept friends long after retiring RIP my friend.”
England players will now wear black armbands during their Nations League game in Belgium on Sunday evening and will pay tribute to Clemence before Wednesday’s match against Iceland match at Wembley.
Bill Shankly brought him to Anfield from Scunthorpe for £18,000, and soon became a key member of the Liverpool team which dominated Europe between 1977 and 1981, and also picked up two Uefa Cups, an FA Cup and the League Cup.
Liverpool paid tribute to their former player, saying on Twitter: “We’re deeply saddened by the passing of one of the greatest ever goalkeepers, Ray Clemence.
“The thoughts of everyone at Liverpool Football Club are with Ray’s family and many friends. Rest in peace, Ray Clemence 1948-2020.”
David James, whose career mirrored Clemence’s in playing for Liverpool and England, paid tribute saying: “I’m deeply saddened to hear the passing of Ray Clemence Clem was my coach with England for more than a decade.”
James added on Twitter: “A lovely man with a wicked left foot, I had a poster of him on my bedroom wall as a kid.”
At Tottenham, whom he joined in 1981 aged 32 for a fee of £300,000, he won another Uefa Cup and FA Cup.
Spurs tweeted: “We are deeply saddened to report the passing of legendary former goalkeeper Ray Clemence.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to Ray’s family and many friends throughout the game at this sad time.”
Steve Perryman, who played with Clemence at Tottenham, told Standard Sport upon hearing the news: “We’ve lost a magnificent soldier from our ranks.
“Was a privilege to have known him and able to call Ray a trusted colleague! RIP Sir x”
Ossie Ardiles, also a former Spurs team-mate, tweeted: “So so sad to hear the news of Raymondo passing away. He was a great goalkeeper, wonderful companion, friend. He battled this illness right until the very end.
“We will miss you. Rest in peace my friend. My family and my thoughts and prayers go out to Vee, her family and friends.”
He later added: “We went to see him last Friday with Paul Miller and told him how much he was loved and missed by the chaps and everybody else connected with Spurs.
“He leaves a wonderful legacy and memories for us as we shared so many special times together over the years!”
Clemence is survived by his wife Veronica, son Stephen – a former player himself and now a coach – and daughters Sarah and Julie.
A message from Clemence family read: “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 the love and support he’s received over the years. He was loved so much by us all and will never be forgotten.”
The Professional Footballers’ Association tweeted: “We are extremely saddened to learn that former Liverpool, Tottenham and England goalkeeper Ray Clemence has passed away.
“All our thoughts are with Ray’s family, friends and former teammates at this time.”
Additional reporting by PA.