One year ago we heard the terrible news. I was travelling up the motorway with Dave Llewellyn and Roger Stokes. We were in good spirits and looking forward to the game at Burnley. We were then stunned when Jbee phoned me on my mobile with news of the tragedy. I phoned as many other R’s fans as possible and asked if the news was in the public domain. We pulled off at the next Motorway Services to gather our thoughts and emotions before turning round to come home. I remember watching an emotional tribute to him on ‘You Tube’ over and over again. We had already mourned the death of Kiyan and now another young life was lost. God Bless Ray.
I was half way through my holiday with the family when I heard the tragic news. I was sitting in a bar at about 10am, watching some game on the telly with my Rangers top on when some Scouser said to me: “Have you heard the news ?” Thinking he was going to come out with some piss taking comment, I replied: “No, go on.” He said that one of our players had been killed in a car crash and I immediately knew that this wasn’t a sick wind-up by the look on his face. He didn’t know the name but he knew that it was a youngster and our game at Burnley had been postponed. I then met another R’s fan who had just been on the Net and he confirmed the news that Ray Jones had died. I was absolutely devastated and completely gobsmacked. Later, I got totally hammered but not in the usual cheerful holiday manner but just drowning my sorrows. For a few days it felt like a family loss and in a way it was. I could think of little else for the rest of the holiday. God Bless Ray…R.I.P.
(Sam sent me a picture of his younger brother Hugh, with Ray and two other children at Loftus Road…he had been a mascot just a week before he died – Steve Russell)
I never met him myself but both my brother and dad said that he was more than happy to pose for the picture and sign autographs despite not playing (possibly due to injury). I remember that I was watching ‘Soccer AM’ and checked teletext to see that the match had been postponed but no reason was given. When I was told of the news, the Show suddenly became unfunny and it then put a lot of things into perspective. Ray was a bright prospect, a future R’s and possibly also, an England star, but he was also a great lad who is sorely missed by all connected with the club.
R.I.P. Ray Jones – 1988-2007.
Sam Phillipps (sam99)
The day will always live with me. It was hot and we were out boating on the Thames with friends. My son Kevin rang me and I was just stunned. I remember ringing Steve Russell to confirm it. I think that he, like many others, had turned back and were heading home. I was shocked and saddened at such a young loss of life. We’d lost one of our own. My thoughts were with his family and everyone connected to this great club of ours.
Jimmy Murray (jj)
Ray brought a lump to my throat when I watched him chase down a defender and score from near the corner flag at Southampton. Having seen him in the Youth side, I was proud of his breakthrough into the 1st team. When I heard the news of his death and yet again, a lump was brought to my throat, for a very different reason. I was shocked and it brought tears to my eyes. Someone with so much promise had come through and it had been cruelly taken from him and us.Such a sad loss for the entire QPR family.
Ray was a good kid, a lovable guy and a promising talent. I’m still in shock and he will be deeply missed. After the Reading game, he came over to me and thanked me for letting him play that day. He was always grateful just to be on the pitch.
Beckie and I were driving up to Burnley and had literally just reached the start of the M6 when we heard on the radio that, as one of our players had died, the game had been called off. Virtually at the same time, the text messages started coming in from friends confirming that it was Ray Jones who had been killed in a tragic accident. Amid the blur of many tears and in total shock, we turned around at the first junction. Our only thoughts were that we had to go directly to the club to lay our tribute. It was a way of ‘doing’ something tangible to assuage the sense of helplessness that we felt at the loss of a young life. We stopped off at the Services only to buy some blue and white flowers. We were some of the first few fans to get to South Africa Road where Sky Sports were filming. We were shown on television later that evening but would have given anything for that news report not to have been necessary. God Bless you Ray. R.I.P.
I remember the day very well. I was going through various QPR message boards on the day of Ray’s death and there was what seemed to be rumours of an accident involving a Rangers player. Word eventually got out that it was in fact Ray Jones. Feeling a bit sick, I tried to make contact with a few of the Irish fans on www.iqpr.org or by text…maybe the news was just some terrible internet rumour !!! You see my brother had been killed in a road traffic accident in November 2006 (a week after Ray scored that late goal at Cardiff shown on Sky Sports) and when I heard the news, all I could think about was his family and what they must of been going through, how much support they were going to need from friends etc. At the time, you don’t realise it, but these are the people who help you cope and pull through. It was the tributes and respect shown by all QPR fans, players and staff during the rest of the season that made the loss a little easier and also made me proud to be a QPR fan. I will be at the Doncaster game on Saturday and will, like all R’s fans, pay my respects. Ray Jones R.I.P.
Like what many people say about bad news, you can always remember where you were on hearing it. The day had started out really well for me. I was bringing my eldest boy Danny, to London as a treat for doing well in his exams. The weather was fine as we left Covent Garden tube and I asked him which shop he wanted to go in first. As we approached the Fred Perry shop, my mobile bleeped indicating a message. I paused to read it and it was from my mate Colin. We often text each other on Saturdays, particularly if we are not at the game. I thought it would just be about team news etc. However, I can still remember his text word for word (no need for me to write it now). I rang him straight away and he confirmed the tragic news. I think we all know that this was a bad period for Rangers, with one bad piece of news after the other. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it did. Danny had gone into the shop and I was trying to think whether to tell him or not. But I could not hide my sadness and he knew that something was up. I had to tell him. It was for both of us, a sad and tragic reminder of how fragile life can be.
He had a lovely manner and a natural presence about him that most young players take years to develop. I liked him a lot. He was also a genuine prospect and two Premiership clubs were watching him very closely indeed, which makes his death seem all the more tragic.
On the 25th August 2007, Tom and I were away on holiday, so we weren’t on the road that day travelling up to Burnley. We were devastated when we got a call from a friend who was on a coach to Burnley to tell us the terrible news. We could hardly believe it was true and the awful irony of it was, that we were in exactly the same place as we had been just over 15 months previously, when we heard of the very sad loss of Kiyan Prince. I couldn’t help but keep thinking that if only Ray hadn’t been injured in the pre-season, then he would have been up in Burnley with the squad and not out with his friends on the Friday evening. On Monday, out thoughts will be of Ray Jones…a lovely young man, a gentle giant who had so much potential still to shine. We should also keep in our thoughts, those friends that died along with Ray. It was such a terrible loss for QPR and football in general, but so much worse for his close family. God Bless you Ray, you will always be remembered and our thoughts are with your family and friends.
Pat and Tom Harrison
One year on and still shocked at the loss of Ray.
The goal he got at Southampton will live with me forever.
Ray, will always be missed and loved by us all.
To us there was and always will be one Ray Jones