Ray joined the club in 1976 and played through to 2010 for various teams including the 3rds, 4ths, and the Pet Shop Boys, and then was a founding member of our first Masters’ team, which he also managed for 2 years.
Within weeks of joining the club, Ray joined the Supporters’ Club Committee and became its Secretary in 1980 and 1981. He took over the running of the clubroom raffles in 1980 for a few years and also helped with the New Central Hotel raffles.
Ray was first elected onto the Management Committee for the 1981 and then for several seasons during the 1980s. His major contribution during this period was a complex exercise in introducing computerised systems to the club, especially for what was then a very a high turnover bar with detailed stock control and sales programmes. His innovations also covered our player registration, administrative and financial databases.
In 1988 and 1989, he played a large role in the very time-consuming tasks of researching, writing sections for and producing the Centenary book. Ray had to withdraw from the Committee in November 1990 but this did not stop him contributing to specific functions. Indeed, for a number of years, he took the initiative to compile some very comprehensive rolling spreadsheets showing our annual financial performances and trends over the decade to date at the time.
Ray was again elected to the Committee in 1992 and served until the end of the 1995 season. During this period he was responsible for the drafting of the club’s 3 year business plan and other components of our very weighty application to join the then national summer league – this was a very professional and unsurpassed undertaking by Ray. He also produced important in-depth analysis of employment contracts for the club manager and coach roles; and well-researched and extensive reports on the Privacy Act, the Employment Contracts Act, the Health and Safety Act, the Fringe Benefits Tax, and the Sale of Liquor Act – all of which had become very relevant to management of the club.
Ray undertook so many other tasks in which he always delivered on his responsibilities and, in particular, he also ran various fund-raising quiz evenings for a number of years, collaboratively and on his own. He started coaching a junior team in 1995 and continued in this role until 2001, also being grade manager for all but one of those years. He jointly coached another junior team with son Jeff in 2003. Ray then coached the 3rd team in 2004 and managed it in 2005. In the late 1970s, Ray also managed a women’s team.
He was involved in managing the under 19 team from 2003, at first jointly, standing aside in 2007, and then as sole manager from 2008 until 2012. He undertook fund raising, team and player management, travel and accommodation arrangements, and also communicated extensively to club members about the programme and achievements of this out of the limelight, but very important, team.
He contributed as a member of the working group which re-wrote the Constitution in 2010. He also played a lead co-ordinating role in assembling the information for the Honours Board and Timeboards in 2010-11 and, in association with that project, he led the work to redecorate the clubrooms. Ray has also scanned all of our Club photos and has produced a CD of all the information on the Boards.
One could sum up that Ray was a player for 33 seasons, a coach/manager of men’s/women’s teams for 3 years, a junior coach for 8 years, a Management Committee for 12 years, a Supporters Club Committee member for 6 years, and under 19 Manager for 9 years. But that simple summary goes no way to portraying the care and commitment with which Ray discharged his roles, nor the diversity of the tasks and functions he undertook within those roles.
Ray has contributed substantively and made a difference to the Club in virtually all of the 36 years in which he has been a member, and for the most part, it has been behind the scenes work.
In recognition of his substantial contribution to the club since joining the Supporters’ Club Committee in 1976, the club awarded him life membership at the 2012 AGM. The humility with which he received the award was consistent with the ‘out of the spotlight’ approach he took to the array of undertakings and achievements that earned him the honour.