Tributes Pour In To Ray Kendall

December 28, 2005

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There is no doubt Boxing Day was a very difficult day for most at Rovers with the passing of Ray, a much loved figure at the club for over 50 years.

Those present will have heard the address by our match day announcer Nick Day, written by our chairman Geoff Dunford. It is re-produced below along with other tributes received by the club from media and other well known people connected with the club both past and present. 

Ray first worked for Bristol Rovers in 1950 showing school parties around Eastville Stadium before games. He progressed to doing my job of Public Address announcer for each match at Eastville during the glory years of the 1950’s and his first public performance on the microphone was the FA cup game against Manchester United in 1956 when Rover’s won 4-0.

It was in 1962 that Ray had a heart attack which gave him a new perspective on life and he vowed to keep cool in all situations. Ray said this is why he made so many friends because he would not argue with people!

Ray was still working part time for the Club in the early 1970’s , helping out on first and reserve team games and on the commercial side. He was also he was Chairman of the True Blue Club.

In 1977 after 19 years of part time service Ray joined the payroll of Bristol Rovers for the first time, looking after the kit and refreshments for the players, a position he held until he decide to retire on his 71st birthday in October 2000.

Ray then continued to look after visiting directors in the Boardroom and organizing away travel for the first team . He became ill after the club’s Christmas party a few days ago, passing away on Christmas Eve.

Ray was Mr “Bristol Rovers”, his services to the club was recognised by a presentation to him by the Football Association, and he always described Bristol Rovers as his family and friends . We will miss him greatly.

In respect of Ray it has been requested that we have a minutes silence, followed immediately by the whole stadium singing a rendition of “Goodnight Irene” in Ray’s honour. Please don’t let Ray down.

God Bless Ray Kendall

Tributes received since Christmas Eve appear below

Ray was “Mr Bristol Rovers” A great friend and servant to the Club. Ray ‘s duties ranged from Kit Man and PA announcer to arranging hotel and coach travel . With over 50 years service Ray had many stories to tell of his time with Rovers and we will always remember them and smile. He was a Gentleman of the first order and I will miss him. A little part of Bristol Rovers has gone today and will never be replaced. God bless Ray.

Geoff Dunford

Chairman

Sorry to hear of the passing of Ray, a lovely and loyal man and one of life’s Gentlemen.

Nick Higgs

Chairman

Cowlin Construction

It is not very often in this day and age that the word legend is used too easily but for Ray Kendall it is true. He will be sadly missed.

Roger Brinsford

Secretary

Bristol Rovers Ladies FC

Very sorry to hear the passing of Ray. Our thoughts are with his family. Ray was one of the best and a true gentleman.

Russell And Louise Osman

Ray, you will be sadly missed. Our sincere condolences to the family. God Bless Ray.

John Ward

Manager

Cheltenham Town FC

This is terrible news. Ray would want us all to be happy I know as he was such a cheerful person and he would want us to remember him with a smile. God bless Ray.

Steve Yates

Ex Bristol Rovers

This is terrible news. We are very shocked to hear of Ray’s passing.

Kevin Hambling

Principal

Filton College

Bristol Rovers has today lost a loyal friend with Rays passing. We have all lost a loyal friend.

Bobby Gould

Ex Manager

Bristol Rovers

Ray has taken many fond memories with him. We will always have those memories to cherish. God bless Ray.

Phil Purnell

Ex player

Bristol Rovers FC

Awful news concerning Ray. We are very shocked. Please let us know if there is anything we can do.

Jed Pitman

HTV

Very sad news. Ray Kendall was one of the game’s characters. He will be missed.

Matt Pick

BBC

I am shocked to hear of Ray’s passing. Everyone at Bristol City send their condolences to his family. Ray was a true Gentleman and Bristol Rovers can be proud of his service with them.

Keith Dawe

Vice Chairman

Bristol City FC

I am shocked at the passing of Ray Kendall and my thoughts are with his family at this very sad time. Ray was part of the fabric of Bristol Rovers and a great servant to the club. I have many happy memories of Ray, he was a wonderful character and a Gentleman. God bless Ray, we will miss you.

Ian Holloway
QPR and Ex Bristol Rovers Manager

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