December 3, 1977
All being well, Ray Clemence will set a Liverpool club record on Tuesday night. It will be his 316th consecutive appearance for the Reds, beating the Chris Lawler record of 315 which he equaled against West Ham this afternoon.
He last missed a senior game at Carlisle in September, 1972 – a League Cup tie. Since then, he has been an ever-present star, not only with his appearances, but also with his steadily increasing quality of performance until now he is not only rated the best in Europa, but many good judges believe, in the world.
So a special reception on Tuesday for popular Ray, please.
It will be his 452nd senior appearance since he took over from Tommy Lawrence as the first team regular. He also made 50 League and Cup outings with Scunthorpe, so he has already passed the magical 500 mark.
His total of 315 consecutive games to-day do not include friendlies. This is the way the club compelled records of its players and I go along with that. For example, not included in his list are four Charity Shield performances, because the club’s official view is that they are played pre-season and are rated as friendlies, part of the team’s warm-up games to the opening of the League season.
Ray himself is not a collector of playing records. He just keeps rolling along, as they say, the complete professional who analyses his own performances very deeply and has not been happy with a few of his games this season.
His consistency and freedom from injury are both remarkable features of this magnificent player, who is the latest in a long string of great Liverpool goalkeepers, going back to Sam Hardy and Elisha Scott.
He says he has been lucky to avoid injury … “plus having a good defence in front of me in the ten years I’ve been at Anfield. In addition, I’m not overworked because I have such a good cover. This means I have less to do, less chance of being injured.”
There was a chance a month ago that his ever-present record would go when he was within a few games of Lawler’s record. It was touch and go before the League Cup tie against Derby County at Anfield that a thigh injury would keep him out.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: December 3, 1977; via http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) © 2018 Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited