Tributes pour in for Ray Clemence after death of ex-England goalkeeper

Tributes have poured in for former England goalkeeper Ray Clemence after his death at the age of 72.

Clemence passed away peacefully on Sunday surrounded by his family, who released a statement thanking fans for the love and support shown to him throughout his life and career.

After starting out Scunthorpe Utd, Clemence made his name in the great Liverpool side of the 70s, with whom he won five league titles and three European Cups, among other honours.

He then moved on to Tottenham where he enjoyed further success as part of the UEFA Cup winning side of 1983-84, and is still the only player to have won each of the top European club competitions on three occasions.

Football figures have since come forward to express their condolences for Clemence, who was capped a total of 61 times by his country.

Former Liverpool and England No1 David James paid his respects to one of his predecessors, writing on Twitter : "I'm deeply saddened to hear the passing of Ray Clemence. Clem was my coach with England for more than a decade.

"A lovely man with a wicked left foot, I had a poster of him on my bedroom wall as a kid. YNWA. RIP."

Ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher also tweeted: "RIP Ray Clemence. An LFC giant who was also a giant of a man. YNWA."

All three of Clemence's former clubs posted similar tributes to their old No1, with Tottenham's post reading: "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."

Following his retirement from playing in 1988, Clemence started on a long road in coaching, first at Tottenham, before stepping into the dugout as co-manager of lower-league Barnet in 1994.

Shortly after, Clemence was brought back into the international fold as goalkeeper coach under England manager Glenn Hoddle, and stayed in the role until the appointment of Fabio Capello, before being restored to his old post by Roy Hodgson ahead of his retirement in 2013.

England's twitter account paid a poignant tribute to Clemence, writing: "Rest in peace, Ray. You'll never be forgotten."

Clemence's former Liverpool captain Phil Thompson wrote: "So sorry to hear of the passing of Ray Clemence my eyes and ears as a team mate, and oh what a keeper, love to Vee and all the family. YNWA."

Another former Red, Ian Rush, said: "RIP Ray Clemence, we have lost a true legend! It was an honour to know you and to get the chance to play with you! My thoughts and prayers are with your family."

His standing as one of the game's great goalkeepers is undoubted, and his influence transcended the sport.

Former world heavyweight boxing champion Frank Bruno said: "RIP I cannot believe it Ray who has been battling with cancer for a few years has passed away.

"An excellent goalkeeper a really nice man and an great charity supporter a sad day he was such a fighter with this evil illness very sad."

Legendary Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson wrote: "Such sad news. Ray Clemence, great goalkeeper and wonderful human being.

"Such an example to all those facing life threatening illness. Thank you Ray for your friendship. Our love to the family."

Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan summed up Clemence's accomplishments, writing: "RIP Ray Clemence, 72. One of the greatest goalkeepers in history: 1000+ games incl 61 caps for England, 5 League titles, 3 European Cups, 3 UEFA Cups, 2 FA Cups. Incredible career, and an absolute gentleman."

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