Ray Clemence describes his battle with cancer as a 'shock' following his recent retirement but hopes for further good news after going into remission

Clemence stepped down from his role with the Football Association last month and believes that his career as a goalkeeper has been a help in his battle with illness

Ray Clemence, who stepped down from his role with the Football Association last month, is in remission from cancer after being diagnosed with the disease for a second time last year.

The 65-year-old was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2005 and successfully underwent treatment but during a check-up in November 2012 it was discovered that the cancer had returned when an MRI scan revealed a tumour at the base of his spine.

Clemence continued to work with the FA but announced in October that he was stepping down from his role as the head of national teams and was retiring from football.

In an interview in Friday's Daily Mail, the former England and Liverpool goalkeeper has spoken about his battle with cancer.

"It was a shock," he said. "Chemotherapy is so hard.

"You feel ill everywhere. At the start of this year I'd lost most of my hair and felt dreadful. I'd put on that weight too. But I like to think it helps that I've been a goalkeeper.

"As Joe Hart's finding out now, you have to have a thick skin, a strong personality. You have to be strong to come through the difficult times as a goalkeeper and that's the way I'm approaching this.

"I was right in the middle of the woods but now I'm on the outside of the woods. I'm not out completely yet. I'm in remission and the tumour, the last time they looked, had reduced by 50 per cent.

"In a couple of weeks I'm hoping there will be more good news. I'm on fantastic tablets now. It's still chemo, but they just attack the bad cells."

He added of his decision to leave the FA, who he joined in 1996: "I have three wonderful kids, but as a father I didn't see as much of them as I should have because I was busy being what I wanted to be.

"Now I've got nine grandchildren and if I'm not careful I won't see much of them either."

PA

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