On this day in 1967 Liverpool signed Ray Clemence
Ray Clemence was an 18-year-old playing for Scunthorpe United when he caught the eye of Bill Shankly. He signed in the summer of 1967 and despite his age he made 46 appearances for the third division club. Clemence had to serve a two-year apprenticeship in the reserves. A year after he made his debut he was picked to start against Dundalk but could hardly showcase his talent as Liverpool overcame them 10-0 and 4-0 in the European Fairs Cup. He was given his full league debut in January 1970 and he established himself as first choice goalkeeper by the end of that season.
In the 1970/71 season Clemence only conceded 22 goals in 41 First Division matches and it was no coincidence that Liverpool where the best team as they had the best defence of Clemence, Neal, Kennedy, Thompson and Hansen. He kept 28 clean sheets and only conceded four goals at Anfield in 21 games. He is one of the very few players to have won three European cups and his crucial save from Stielike when the Rome final in 1977 was balanced at 1-1 helped the Reds achieve a memorable result in the club’s history.
Clemence’s final game for Liverpool was appropriately on the grand stage too as he kept a clean sheet against Real Madrid were beaten by Alan Kennedy’s late strike in Paris. Soon after he lifted his third European cup, Liverpool’s management were shocked to find out that the goalkeeper wanted to leave the club. He moved to Tottenham Hotspur and his first competitive match against his former teammates was at Wembley where despite his brilliant performance, Liverpool retained the League cup.
Ray Clemence 336 games without missing a single match from 9th September 1972 until 4th March 1978 with only two players making more first-team appearances for the club; Ian Callaghan and Jamie Carragher.
Ray Clemence made a total of 665 appearances for Liverpool and kept 323 clean sheet during that time. Since retiring in 1988, Clemence has enjoyed coaching roles at Tottenham, Barnet and has been a part of the England set up.
Article by Lauren Black [email protected]_Black9
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