We first met Ray when our lads played in Rangers’ Centre of Excellence and over the years we became the best of friends, including his partner, Tina.
So many memories of Ray and we can absolutely say one thing, he was hysterical! He made us laugh and smile all the time. We can’t think of one time when he was miserable.
Ray was QPR through and through and loved nothing more than watching the R’s on a Saturday, then following that up with a youth game on the Sunday.
There were tours to watch the boys in Scotland and Germany. One of the trips to Germany was brilliant, the boys made us proud and a few jars were drunk in celebration.
We hired a car and when Jimmy and Steve Russell needed a lift, Raymondo (as we called him), said: “Yeah, shove ‘em in the back.” Poor Jimmy was quite literally shoved in the back!
Returning from one game, we motored off on the autobahn in an electric storm and it was absolutely pouring down. We ended up getting lost and drove around what seemed like forever and bantered that we would end up in Switzerland.
Then suddenly we saw a sign for Switzerland and the mountains in the distance! You couldn’t make it up! We were all in absolute tears of laughter!
We did of course eventually make it back and could be heard in fits of laughter as we approached the hotel at some ungodly hour!
When Dean (Parrett) got selected for the England teams, we followed them too. Wales and Northern Ireland for the Victory Shield, also France for the Montaigu Tournament. He went to them all.
The parents that followed the boys were like one big happy family, all supporting each other. It was an amazing time and QPR was a great place to be for all of them, and us alike.
He was a happy-go-lucky man who everybody got on with. Ray loved the London derbies and the matches against Luton. Great memories of one in particular was when we played the Arsenal U12’s and beating them convincingly.
He loved that so much so that when one of the opposing team’s rather pissed-off Dad’s commented: “You’re enjoying this ain’t ya mate.” Ray’s quick reply was: “Too fucking right I am – Up the R’s.” He loved the kids winning as much as the 1st team.
Ray was an excellent friend to us over the years and we were devastated to hear that he had passed on. We will sorely miss him, he was one of a kind.
God Bless you Raymondo.
Gary & Kalitsa Parrett
I hadn’t seen Ray for quite a while and it came as a great shock to read the news of his passing on Facebook!
Ray was born on 16th February 1948. I also learnt that he had grown up in Appleford Road in Ladbroke Grove and had attended Isaac Newton School.
I first got to know Ray whilst attending the QPR Youth team on Saturday mornings at the Harlington training ground.
Then there was the memorable U16’s/U18’s trip to Germany in 2008. Jimmy Murray and I met up with Ray, Tina, Gary and Kalitsa etc at the airport and we went on to travel together to the hotel at Edenkoben.
I must mention the trip to Jockgrim where the R’s took on Kaiserslautern. The relatively short journey back to the hotel became a very long one as we had set off in the wrong direction!
After the boys had moved on I occasionally used to bump into him at Rangers games.
Ray was ‘proper West London’ and he always had a smile on his face.
He was laid to rest on 30th August at Breakspear Crematorium.
God Bless mate. Rest in Peace.
(Thanks to Annabel Parker for emailing me the above photo)