The Liverpool goalkeepers’ union have rallied around Ray Clemence during a bout of illness, with Alisson and Pepe Reina both sending messages to the legendary stopper.
Clive Tyldesley took to Twitter on Thursday to ask well-wishers to contact Clemence, writing “if this wonderful man has ever brought pleasure to your life at any time, this would be a good time to tell him.”
Though Clemence’s illness is unclear, the 72-year-old has battled advanced prostate cancer since 2005, and has long served as an ambassador for Prostate Cancer UK.
Unsurprisingly, this has led to a flood of messages to the former Liverpool goalkeeper, including from the son of Tommy Lawrence, Clemence’s former team-mate, who shared a picture of the pair:
Love this picture of dad and clem, get well soon. pic.twitter.com/a2voMxPWXw
— Stephen Lawrence (@coaching1967) October 8, 2020
Liverpool supporters’ group Spirit of Shankly also paid tribute on Twitter, hailing Clemence as “one of Shankly’s best”:
— Spirit of Shankly (@spiritofshankly) October 8, 2020
Clemence is joint-fourth in Liverpool’s all-time appearances list, level with Emlyn Hughes on 665, and over his 14 years with the club won five First Division titles and three European Cups, among countless other honours.
He is widely considered the best goalkeeper to ever grace Anfield, and Pepe Reina echoed the sentiment as he sent his own message to his predecessor:
— Pepe Reina (@PReina25) October 8, 2020
Despite being in the early years of his time on Merseyside, Alisson is seen as one of the greatest to represent the club since Clemence, and the Brazilian showed respect in a post on Thursday:
Clemence responded to Alisson, saying “the support of the GK union is always special,” and telling the 28-year-old that “as you are realising it’s a special place to play”:
Thanks for the message I really do appreciate it. The support of GK Union is always special. Can I wish you and the team every success in the future. As you are realising it’s a special place to play. Ray
— Ray Clemence (@RayClem1) October 9, 2020
Incidentally, a new mural in Clemence’s honour was recently completed on Wylva Road, near Anfield, depicting the goalkeeper in celebration, along with a fitting quote from Bill Shankly.
— John Achterberg (@1JohnAchterberg) October 8, 2020
It reads: “Ray had everything. He’s quick, he doesn’t wanna be beaten. He’s just a great goalkeeper.”
Clemence has rightly been honoured for his contribution to Liverpool’s successful history, and This Is Anfield sends our best wishes to the Reds legend.