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Legends gather to remember Ray

Wed 02 June 2021, 16:42|Tottenham Hotspur

As lockdown restrictions continue to ease, a number of our legendary former players and managers got together in Enfield on Tuesday to celebrate the life of Ray Clemence.

One of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, Ray passed away last November following a long battle with illness at the age of 72.

Due to the pandemic, his former team-mates and friends were unable to pay tribute to him together at the time but, within current rules and guidelines, they’ve now been able to celebrate his memory.

Winner of five league titles, three European Cups, two UEFA Cups, the FA Cup and League Cup during 14 years at Liverpool and capped 61 times by England, Ray joined us in August, 1981, and went on to make 330 appearances in our colours until his retirement due to a knee injury in March, 1988. He won the FA Cup at the end of his first season here in 1982 but was injured and an unused substitute for our UEFA Cup triumph of 1984. In all, he played 1,119 first-class matches and, following retirement, worked on our coaching staff and that of the England national team.

Iconic former captain Steve Perryman was in attendance on Tuesday and explained: “Ray was such a great member of our team and we wanted to do it right and remember him. A limited number of us, for obvious reasons, were able to be at the Man City game just after he died, which I remember was a clean sheet – I think that had something to do with Ray – and I think we went top of the league after that, but it was a very limited number, we were spread in different sections, of course the funeral again could only have limited numbers, so this is the only chance we’ve had to actually be together for this type of thing. Normally when someone dies, as sad as it is, you’re together. Well done to Ossie Ardiles, he’s arranged this get-together at one of his favourite locations – again we’re limited with where and how we can be with people – but it’s nice because this is our first chance to see Ray’s wife Vee and daughter Sarah and express our condolences.”

We’re celebrating the life of Ray Clemence, a person who meant so much to us, in a way that he would have loved to be celebrated.

Ossie Ardiles

Ossie added: “We have most of the boys, the friends of Raymondo – some people couldn’t come because of what is happening right now which is completely understandable but we’re delighted to be here, delighted to have Vee Clemence and Sarah with us and we’re celebrating the life of Ray Clemence, a person who meant so much to us, in a way that he would have loved to be celebrated.”

Former defender Paul Miller said: “We weren’t able to celebrate Ray’s life at a wake or anything because of the restrictions but we were determined to do it at a later date. We’re respecting the current rules and keeping ourselves safe. There’s a few who couldn’t make it but that can’t be helped and of course they’re here with us in spirit, so all in all it’s a fantastic turn-out and a tribute to Clem, who was one of our greatest goalkeepers and one of our best friends. He fought a great battle, 15 years with cancer, he was very brave and strong and he would have loved a night like this. It shows how close we all are still today as the Spurs boys – that’s very rare in the game. There’s five decades here which is fantastic. We’ve had some great speeches from Steve Perryman, from Glenn Hoddle and we’ve toasted Ray a few times tonight, for sure.”

2020/21 Legends’ Player of the Season

It has become customary in recent years for our former stars to nominate their Player of the Season and at Tuesday’s gathering, the Legends selected Harry Kane as this year’s winner.

He joins inaugural winner Moussa Sissoko (2019) and Heung-Min Son (2020) as recipients of the award since its inception.

Former defender Graham Roberts said: “We felt there was only one person who could have won it this year and that’s Harry. Look at his records – he was top scorer and won the Golden Boot, he had the most assists, his attitude is great, so it’s fully deserved.”