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Dick Ray
Personal information
Full name Richard Ray
Date of birth February 4, 1876(1876-02-04)
Place of birth    Newcastle-under-Lyme, England
Date of death    December 28, 1952 (aged 76)
Place of death    Leeds, England
Playing position Left Back
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Burslem Port Vale
Manchester City
Stockport County
Leeds City

29 (1)   
Teams managed
Leeds United
Doncaster Rovers
Leeds United
Bradford City

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Richard "Dick" Ray (February 4, 1876, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire – December 28, 1952, Leeds) was a professional footballer and manager. He became a manager for Leeds United, Doncaster Rovers and Bradford City.


Playing career

Ray was born in the Potteries town of Newcastle under Lyme on February 4 1876, and began his footballing career with local club Audley, before joining Macclesfield in 1893, before moving to Burslem Port Vale a year later. He was a solid performer for the club, however failed to turn up for one match after misreading a train timetable, being fined five shillings for his trouble, he departed in the summer of 1895.[1]

Over the next few years he played for Manchester City, Stockport County, Chesterfield and Leeds City. After Gilbert Gillies, his manager at Chesterfield, was appointed as Leeds City's first manager in March 1905, Ray followed him to Elland Road. He was a dependable left back, and even captained the side before leaving the club when the board declined not to renew Gillies' contract in March 1908.

Managerial career

Leeds United and Doncaster Rovers

Ray retired from playing in 1912 and then served in the RASC during World War I. He remained close to Leeds City however, and was invited to become a member of the original committee that was elected to manage the new Leeds United following City's expulsion from the League in October 1919. He then became the first Leeds United manager, running the club for part of their 1919-20 Midland League campaign.

New Leeds United chairman Hilton Crowther went back to his old club Huddersfield Town to recruit Arthur Fairclough as manager in February 1920. Ray became Fairclough's assistant for a while, eventually leaving Elland Road in June 1923 to take over at Doncaster Rovers when they were elected to the old Third Division (North). Ray never got them above a mid table finish, but when Fairclough resigned following Leeds United's relegation to Division Two at the end of 1926-27, the Leeds board recalled Ray as manager.

Ray steered Leeds back to the First Division at the first attempt in 1927-28, and then guided the club to 5th place in 1929-30 - their best placing until the arrival of Don Revie. However, the club was relegated the following season. Leeds were immediately promoted back to the First Division in 1931-32, and enjoyed two seasons at mid-table.

Leeds now had the England international half back line of Willis Edwards, Ernie Hart and Wilf Copping, but in 1934 Copping was sold to Arsenal. The loss of such a key player had a large impact, and in 1934-35, Leeds finished 18th. Ray resigned on 5 March 1935, with Leeds flirting once more with relegation.

The Football League recognised Ray's achievements by appointing him the first manager of a League representative team, for the 2-2 draw with the Scottish League at Ibrox in February 1934.

Bradford City and beyond

After Ray left Elland Road, he became Bradford City manager in April 1935. They avoided relegation from Division Two at the end of that season, but were relegated in 1937. Ray left the club a year later when he was relieved of responsibility for team selection.

He was then 62 and spent some time as chief scout for Millwall, but was out of football two years later, spending his time running a garage business and billiard clubs.


  • Frost, Terry (1988). Bradford City A Complete Record 1903-1988. Breedon Books Sport. pp. pp68–69. ISBN 0907969380.  

External links

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