Following the sad passing of former England keeper, Ray Clemence, we remember his visit to Blundell Park last year as he sat and chatted about his time at neighbours Scunthorpe United. Nothing was too much trouble for the great man. Our thoughts are with Ray’s family at this sad time.
England's greatest goalkeeper thought he'd never make it as a professional after letting in seven against Grimsby Town.
Clemence went on to pick up 61 international caps for England, as well as making more than 750 club appearances for Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, and Scunthorpe United.
But the goalkeeper, now 70-years-old, has admitted that a 7-1 defeat to Town at Blundell Park – during his early days at Scunthorpe United – in 1966 could have completely changed his path as a professional footballer.
Speaking exclusively on iFollow Mariners, he said: “It nearly changed my career for me because I had just about got into Scunthorpe’s first-team, and I think it was my second game in my second season there.
“It was here at Blundell Park and Grimsby Town had Matt Tees, Rodney Green, and Brian Hill – three great players.
“And our manager put out a team which had four or five teenagers in, and we came here and we got thoroughly smashed 7-1.
“For someone like me, so young at that time, I thought ‘I’m going to get left out after that.’
“I remember walking out and speaking to my parents after letting seven goals in, and saying to them ‘That could be the end of my professional career!’
“And we went away to Swansea City on the Saturday after the midweek game against Grimsby Town.
“And the manager left out all of the teenagers apart from me, and we managed to win 1-0 at Swansea.
“And then I managed to stay in the team for the rest of the season, and then I got a transfer to Liverpool – and the rest is history!
“So I was very lucky that the manager kept his faith in me after having seven goals smashed past me, and it wasn’t a very pleasant experience.”
Watch the full interview with Ray Clemence on iFollow Mariners.