Tigers lose a legend – Vale ‘Razor’ Ray Daniel
Ray suffered a serious heart attack on Sunday. We know that his never-give-in attitude would have kept him fighting these past few days in hospital, but ultimately Ray passed away yesterday morning (Thurs).
Ray will forever be remembered in the Tigers organisation for his unwavering dedication and commitment to the various playing groups that he was volunteer Team Manager for.
Ray’s ability to see the positives in everyone and everything was one of his many endearing qualities. Ray always went about his business with little fuss and no fanfare. He never made an issue or problem worse, he always just fixed it!
Ray’s smile, kindness and friendly nature made him very popular with our young players and with his volunteer colleagues. “Razor Ray” was always a favourite at our annual Drop-a-bundle mock horse racing meet when most punters in the room got right behind him when his name came up on the bookies tote board.
Ray was drawn to the Club through son Jared as he graduated from the Junior Tigers to Senior football. And it wasn’t just Jared and Ray that came onboard, the whole Daniel clan became part of the Tigers family with wife Karen and daughters Erin and Lauren always willing to lend a hand to Jill Bright on scoreboard duties, or help staff the merchandise tent, or help the juniors committee in the canteen, our build a team banner.
Ray was also instrumental in enticing Dan Lucas, current Second Grade co-captain and partner of Lauren, to the Club after crossing from rugby league and time learning the game at the Googong Hogs.
Ray’s passion for the Tigers, and the amount of time he committed to his Team Manager duties, which among many other things included spending his Friday afternoon’s after work packing the team van or preparing the rooms and ground for match days, was recognised in 2015 with induction as an Associate Official of the Tigers 100 Club.
He was Volunteer of the Year in 2011, 2012, and 2014 (an award voted on by the playing group) as well as joint Clubperson of the Year in 2008 along with Wally Thompson and again in 2013 with Jill Bright.
With such a devastating loss affecting so many members of our Club an impromptu gathering was held at the ground on Thursday night so family members, players and volunteers could support each other in this difficult time. There were plenty of fishing stories, camping stories, and stories of fun times on trips for away games.
But one memory that stays with everyone in the recent playing group was Ray’s words when we announced we were withdrawing from the NEAFL competition at the end of 2014 and players were uncertain of their futures. Ray was never one for giving speeches, but without any planning he stood and addressed the playing group on behalf of his fellow volunteers and said “If you stick with us, we’ll stick with you”. History shows that the Club, led by Ray and his volunteer colleagues, stuck together strongly and pulled off a remarkable First Grade Premiership win the very next year.
The past few years Ray has had to scale down the amount of time that he spent at the Tigers for family reasons. A shattering aspect of his loss is that next season he was all set to resume his role of Team Manager and was very much looking forward to being more involved again. And we couldn’t wait to have him back!
Ray was a gentleman, a friend, a loving family man, a great mate and a legend of our Club. He is irreplaceable and will be sorely missed.
Our thoughts are with Karen, Jared, Erin, Lauren and Dan.
RIP “Razor” Ray – we are going to miss you.
Funeral service details will be published in the coming days.
An album of photos of Ray has been added to our Facebook page. Click here