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Ray Clemence, former Liverpool goalkeeping great, dies at 72

LONDON – Ray Clemence, the former Liverpool, Tottenham and England goalkeeper, has died. He was 72.

The Football Association confirmed the news Sunday. Clemence had been living with advanced prostate cancer since 2005.

Clemence, one of the greatest English goalkeepers of his generation, won three European Cups and five top-tier league titles during a trophy-laden spell at Liverpool.

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp hailed Clemence as “one of the foundation stones” upon which the club’s success had been built.

“This is an extremely sad moment for everyone associated with Liverpool FC and we, as the current team and management, send all our love to the family,” Klopp told liverpoolfc.com. “We should never forget it is great players who make great teams and clubs.”

Clemence made 61 England appearances and was a rival for the No. 1 shirt with Peter Shilton, who accumulated 125 caps.

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 at Wembley.

An 18,000 pound ($23,000) signing from Scunthorpe by Bill Shankly, Clemence was a key member of the Liverpool team that dominated Europe between 1977 and 1981, and also picked up two UEFA Cups, an FA Cup and the League Cup.

At Tottenham, which he joined in 1981 aged 32 for a fee of then 300,000 pounds ($390,000), he won another UEFA Cup and FA Cup.

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, for whom Clemence was a goalkeeping coach for the national team, paid a glowing tribute.

“As a player he was one of the best ever, to work together with him was fantastic, which was why I was very keen to keep him when I was manager of England,” he told Sky Sports.

Clemence 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,” said a statement from the Clemence family.

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

Liverpool paid tribute to its 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."

Tottenham tweeted: “We are deeply saddened to report the passing of legendary former goalkeeper Ray Clemence."

Ossie Ardiles, who played with Clemence at Tottenham, tweeted: “So so sad to heard the news of Raymondo passing away. He was a great goalkeeper, wonderful companion, friend."

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