Liverpool news From Skegness to Rome, Ray Clemence rose to become Liverpool's greatest keeper MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - The tributes paid to legendary former Liverpool goalkeeper Ray Clemence following his passing at the age of 72 say everything about the man
Breaking News ! The word legend is often overused in football these days, perhaps inevitably when it comes to a club with as rich and varied a heritage as Liverpool’s. It could not be more appropriate though when it comes to Ray Clemence, who was rightly elevated to the highest of pedestals in the Anfield pantheon, and not just for his outstanding achievements as a goalkeeper. Yes, the bare facts of his playing career without doubt speak for themselves: five league championships, three European Cups, two Uefa Cups, the FA Cup and the League Cup over 665 first-team appearances which put him behind only Ian Callaghan, Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard in the all-time Liverpool list. He added further honours after leaving Anfield for Tottenham Hotspur in 1981, helping the Londoners to the FA Cup the following year and UEFA Cup in 1984, while also winning 61 caps in an 11-year international career, which undoubtedly would have brought far more appearances had he not been unfortunate to share an era with Peter Shilton with whom he had to share the shirt for the national side. Read More Related Articles Roberto Firmino makes Diogo Jota admission after Liverpool transfer Read More Related Articles Liverpool line-ups against Leicester as Naby Keita starts with Xherdan Shaqiri question His goalkeeping style was based on consistency, athleticism and concentration which was essential playing for a Liverpool side of such dominance that he would often be largely unemployed for significant periods of time before being called into action.Teammates talked glowingly about his organisational abilities, with Clemence constantly instructing those around him as to where they needed to be so as to avoid him being called into action too often. His level-headedness in slight contrast to his ruthless approach to clearing everything - as Bill Shankly put it - "out of his bloody road" when he came to claim crosses, as well as his exuberant approach to playing out of goal in training which befitted a man who rather fell into goalkeeping after spending much of his schoolboy days as an outfield player.And it's clear it was Clemence's personality which made him so loved and admired amongst his teammates, as well as the wider football community as the outpouring following his passing, has proved, with two examples, in particular, summing him up perfectly. Must-read Liverpool FC news Klopp explains long Thiago absence Liverpool January transfer admission Salah plan could shock Leicester The 63 unbeaten home PL games in photos Clemence himself said arguably the most important save of his career, if not technically the best, was the one he made from Uli Stielike at the pivotal point midway through the second half of Liverpool's semi-final 1977 European Cup final win over Borussia Moenchengladbach in Rome, when the Reds were suddenly rocking having been pegged back to 1-1 before going on to lift the trophy and become champions of Europe for the first time.
. As the rather downcast Reds squad were boarding the train back to Liverpool before travelling out to Italy, Clemence lifted the mood by declaring his intention to 'get absolutely p***ed' and led a sing-song which his team-mates always say had the desired effect of convincing them all by the time they returned home that they would bounce back in Rome, which of course they duly did.
Sign up to our free LFC email newsletter
Get all the latest Liverpool injury and team news as Klopp faces selection dilemma, plus breaking news and analysis of what's next for the Reds. You'll also get the latest transfer talk and analysis straight to your inbox every day with our FREE email newsletter. Sign up here - it only takes a few seconds!
Fast forward five years and the fates of the fixture list decided Clemence's first return to Anfield with Tottenham should be on the final day of the season with Liverpool, having embarked on a remarkable recovery after being twelfth in the league table at Christmas, needing to win the match to clinch the title. Despite trailing to a 40-yard Glenn Hoddle wondergoal at the break and Liverpool needing to beat their former hero at least twice in the second half, the Kop - and indeed the whole ground - gave Clemence one of the greatest ovations Anfield has ever seen. He ran down to that end, with the now-Spurs goalkeeper admitting even after he conceded three second-half goals (none of which he had any chance with) it was the most emotional experience he ever had in a football ground. Liverpool's telegram address back when that was a key method of communication was 'goalkeeper' which shows the affinity the club has always felt for that most unique of positions. While the Reds have had some fine custodians both before and after Clemence, the unassuming former deckchair-attendant from Skegness will always be the one the rest have to try and emulate.
Source = MetiNews.Com