Ray Brady, QPR centre-half: 1963-1965 has sadly passed away. Ray was part of a clan of Irish Republic footballers spanning the 1957-1979 era, which included brothers Pat and the more famous, Liam. Ray represented his country six times at full international level.
Ray was signed by the R’s from Millwall, along with his full-back brother Pat in July 1963. He played 97 first team games during his spell with us and scored one goal. A massive physical presence in the heart of defence and certainly one of the old school no-nonsense type of defenders.
It is true to say though, that the best part of Ray Brady’s career was with Millwall where in the period 1957 to 1963 he played over 170 first team games for the Lions and scored 4 goals He was indeed a star centre-half and iconic figure whilst at the Den.
There are a couple of my own anecdotes that I still recall about Ray when he was at Loftus Road, which I can relate as follows:
(1) On the 7th December 1963 when travelling on the train to the away FA Cup tie at Colchester United (won 1-0), Ray was engrossed in a card game with a group of players and fellow supporters. Those were the days when you could get up close and personal with team members.
Upon triumphantly winning a hand, Ray gave a cheeky grin and then broke forth into song with the opening lines of the then popular Big Dee Irwin/Little Eva hit record ‘Swinging On A Star!’
(2) In a League Division 3 fixture, at home to Bristol City on 28th December 1963 (lost 0-2), Ray hacked a lengthy clearance out to the left wing for outside-left Terry McQuade to chase. Unfortunately, Terry McQuade’s response was lacklustre to say the least and the ball went into touch. The next thing that was heard by nearly all the sparse and subdued crowd of 6,917 was Ray bellowing out: “For Fxxk Sake Terry! Come On!”
Ray played his final first eleven game for QPR FC at Brentford on the 21st August 1965 in that infamous 6-1 defeat on the opening day of the 1965/66 season. He was subsequently replaced at centre-half by Ron Hunt and thereafter moved on to Hastings United.
Ray Brady, Rest in Peace. You served your league clubs and country well.
The Football Association of Ireland is saddened to learn this evening of the death of former international Ray Brady.
Dubliner Brady, 79, won six Ireland caps between 1963 and 1964 and played for a number of clubs including Millwall and QPR and with Transport FC and St. Patrick’s Athletic in the League of Ireland. He won a Fourth Division winners medal with Millwall in 1962.
He was the elder brother of fellow international Liam. Two more of Ray’s brothers played professional football; Pat who also played for Millwall and Queen’s Park Rangers, and Frank, who sadly passed away in 2009.
Ray played in a famous Ireland victory over Austria in a European Nations Cup game at Dalymount Park in October 1963, which Ireland won 3-2. He made his Ireland debut against the Austrians in Vienna the previous month.
Uniquely John Giles played alongside Ray Brady in that 0-0 draw against the Austrians and then played alongside Liam Brady as he made his Ireland debut against the USSR 11 years later.
“I am saddened to learn of Ray Brady’s sad passing today. He was from a great footballing family and our thoughts are with his brothers Liam and Pat and all of Ray’s family at this time,” said FAI Chief Executive John Delaney.
“Ray made his Ireland debut against Austria in Vienna 53 years ago so it’s poignant that he passed away just a matter of days after the national team recorded a win in the same city.”
“Ray served his clubs and country with distinction as a player. We will pay tribute to him at next year’s World Cup qualifier against Wales.”
Apart from Pat, another brother, Frank, impressed in a trial match for the R’s in August 1964 and later that month it stated in the ‘Quick Pars on Rangers’ section of the programme that:
‘Not many clubs are able to boast that THREE brothers played for them in the same week. That’s the boast of Queen’s Park Rangers. Today Ray and Pat Brady are scheduled to turn out in the first team and tomorrow their 16-year-old brother Frank is playing for our junior South East Counties team in a friendly match against Harrow St. Mary.’
It goes on to refer to another brother who was also in the country, Liam: ‘But Liam’s thoughts have not yet turned to soccer. He is only eight years old and, like Frank, is over on holiday. He is staying with Pat.’
He went on to make 97 league and cup appearances for the R’s and I remember Ray’s one and only goal in the dramatic FA Cup tie against Peterborough in December 1964. I also recall his final appearance in our 6-1 thrashing against Brentford in August 1965.
Ray went on to run a pub in Kent.
My condolences to Ray’s family and friends at this time.
Rest in Peace.
(On the far right of the top pic is Ray’s brother Pat and Peter Springett is shown in the centre)