Ray Clemence

Ray Clemence

Ray Clemence (1981)
Personal information
Full name Raymond Neal Clemence
Date of birth (1948-08-05) 5 August 1948[1]
Place of birth Skegness, Lincolnshire, England[1]
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)[2]
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
Notts County
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1965–1967 Scunthorpe United 48[3] (0)
1967–1981 Liverpool 470[3] (0)
1981–1988 Tottenham Hotspur 240[3] (0)
Total 758 (0)
National team
England Under-23 4 (0)
1972–1983 England 61 (0)
Teams managed
1992–1993 Tottenham Hotspur (joint with Doug Livermore)
1994–1996 Barnet

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Raymond Neal "Ray" Clemence, MBE (born 5 August 1948) is a former England international football goalkeeper and was part of the Liverpool team of the 1970s.[4] As a player, he won every major trophy in England and Europe with the exception of the Cup Winners' Cup. He currently acts as Head of the FA Development Team, overseeing the development made by players in the England Youth teams from under-16 to 21 level, having previously been part of the England Senior team back room staff.[1]

Life and playing career

Scunthorpe United

Born in Skegness, Lincolnshire, England, Clemence made his debut for Scunthorpe United in 1966[5] and made 48 appearances in what was then called Division 3.[3]


Clemence was signed by Liverpool manager Bill Shankly[6] on 24 June 1967 from Scunthorpe United for a fee of £18,000,[3] he made his debut and kept his first clean-sheet in a League Cup third round tie at Anfield on 25 September 1968,[7][8][9] Swansea Town were the visitors and were beaten 2–0.[10] 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 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 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.

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 forlornly 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 the League title in each season. The 1978–79 League success saw Clemence set a record that was never beaten under the two points for a win system, conceding only 16 goals in the 42 league matches[11] ( and just 4 at Anfield). This remarkable record remains for a 42-match season and endured until beaten recently by Chelsea, who conceded 15 goals in the 38 League matches.

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 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 leave Liverpool by joining Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £300,000. It has since been said that "Ray Clemence is without doubt the greatest goalkeeper ever to play for Liverpool" by the Liverpool FC official website,

Tottenham Hotspur

Clemence left Liverpool to join Tottenham Hotspur in 1981 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 replay.

Clemence's Spurs debut came in a league fixture at Ayresome Park on 28 August 1981, Middlesbrough couldn't prevent Clemence starting off with a win, losing 3–1. His first clean-sheet came three games later on 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. Because of an injury to his left knee Clemence was forced into retirement 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 attaining a record 125 caps. Clemence also had the distinction of captaining England, once, the first keeper to do so since Frank Swift. The game in question was a prestigious friendly with Brazil, although Clemence couldn't prevent the Brazilians from scoring as England lost 1–0.

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. The same left knee injury returned and forced his retirement from playing in 1988. Shortly after retiring Ray Clemence soon joined the Spurs coaching staff.


Clemence was a regular for England between 1972 and 1983 making his debut and keeping his first clean-sheet in the 1–0 World Cup qualifier win over Wales at Ninian Park on 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. Clemence made 61 appearances for England in a 12-year international career.

Coaching career


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 1994–95 season, Ray took sole charge leading Barnet to ninth and 13th in Division 3.

England Coaching Team

In August 1996[1] 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 remained in that position under Steve McClaren until he was replaced by Italian Franco Tancredi as goalkeeping coach in December 2007, as Fabio Capello took charge of the national team. Clemence, however, remained part of the England backroom staff, when Roy Hodgson took over as manager, he reinstated Clemence to the Goalkeeper coach role. On 11 June 2012, he snapped his Achilles during England's warmups for their game against France during Euro 2012.

He was the head of the F.A's Head of Development Team, where his role was to oversee the England under 16s, 17s, 18s, 19s 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, and comments on current goalkeeping stories in football.[12][13][14]

In 2013, Clemence retired; being "lavishly saluted", and being bought a gift from the England national football team; despite his last appearance at an international level coming 30 years ago.[3]

Personal life

Clemence was appointed an MBE in the 1987 Birthday Honours for services to football.[15] His son, Stephen, is a midfield player who came through the ranks at Spurs and Birmingham City and retired injured from Leicester City in 2010. He is now the reserve team manager at Hull City. Ray's daughter Sarah also has footballing connections, being the wife of former Nottingham Forest manager and Scotland striker Dougie Freedman.

On 2 February 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 regards by both the Tottenham faithful and the Anfield faithful. He 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, and topped the magazine Total Football's poll of the best ever goalkeeper, beating the likes of Shilton, Lev Yashin, Gordon Banks and Pat Jennings.


Tottenham Hotspur


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Ray Clemence". The FA. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  2. "Ray Clemence". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Winter, Henry (1 November 2013). "Stalwart Clemence quits after 47 years". The Daily Telegraoh. pp. S8. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  4. "Ray Clemence". Liverpool FC. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  5. "Ray Clemence". The FA. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  6. Hassall, Paul (12 February 2010). "Ray Clemence on Shankly". Liverpool FC. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  7. "English League Cup". Soccerbase. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  8. Rowland, Chris. "TTT Top 20 Players – Ray Clemence". The Tomkins Times. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  9. Prentice, David (5 February 2009). "Liverpool FC legend Ray Clemence clean sheets record still a benchmark". The Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  10. Abbink, Dinant. "Round 3:". RSSSF. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  11. http://www.fl125.co.uk/records/league-goals. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. "Pellegrini coy on Hart involvement". The Express. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  13. Hetheringon, Paul (3 November 2013). "Axed Man City keepr Joe Hart could lose sponsorship cash". The Star. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  14. Sale, Charles (3 August 2013). "Al Jazeera recruit 25 pundits for new season". gulfnews.com. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  15. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 50948. p. 11. 12 June 1987. Retrieved 23 November 2016.

External links

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