Remember Ray

March 6, 2016

Younger supporters may only know about Ray Graydon because of his spell as the BRFC Manager.

Between 2002 and 2004 Ray Graydon was the manager of Bristol Rovers.

Less young supporters will recall his playing days for Bristol Rovers between 1965 and 1971.

When he was involved in a player exchange with Brain Godfrey he had scored 33 goals in 131 games.

He then went to Aston Villa where he is regarded as one of their best ever wingers.

This article from Freddie Shires in HITC SPORT is :-  Click Here

RAYMOND JACK GRAYDON

Born: Bristol, 21 July 1947

Aston Villa career: 1971-1977

Appearances: 231, Goals: 81

When Graydon was signed from his hometown Bristol Rovers in 1971, Villa were sitting in the Third Division following a period of deep turmoil. By the time he left for Coventry City six years later, they were back in the top-flight with two more League Cup titles to their name.

A speedy winger with a nose for goal, the former England youth international proved an integral part of Vic Crowe’s team that won promotion in his first year at the club, but his best period in claret and blue coincided with Ron Saunders’ debut campaign of 1974-75.

It was Villa’s centenary season and it not only ended with the club securing a place back in the top-flight but also League Cup success, with Graydon netting the only goal of the final against Norwich City.

The experienced wide man bagged a team-leading 27 goals that season and was again the club’s top scorer the following campaign, netting a further 14 times to help Saunders’ men avoid the drop.

His appearances were limited during his final year at Villa Park, but he was in the line-up when the team lifted the League Cup once again in 1977 by beating Everton 1-0 after extra-time in a dramatic second replay at Old Trafford.

Ray Graydon celebrates after scoring for Aston Villa during their match against Bolton Wanderers at Villa Park in Birmingham, 18th December 1971.

Upon leaving for neighbours Coventry a few months later, the then 30-year-old had amassed over 230 total appearances for the Villans and recorded an impressive 81 goals.

He also holds the distinction of scoring the club’s first goal in European competition in September 1975, albeit in a 4-1 UEFA Cup first-round defeat to Belgian side Royal Antwerp.

After retiring in 1981 following spells with Coventry, the NASL’s Washington Diplomats and Oxford United, Graydon became a highly respected coach and went on to manage Walsall and Bristol Rovers, leading the Saddlers to promotion to the second tier on two occasions.

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