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Maureen T-k

Ray Evans R.I.P

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Courtesy of Terry Mullaney

 

Another sad day in Rovers history, the death of former Rovers favourite, Ray Evans who passed away peacefully in his sleep last night. Ray was the grandfather of Rovers stalwart, Danny Evans and father of Barry who also played for the club.

Ray, a scrum half, signed as a professional for Rovers from the successful Under 19's Intermediates team in January 1951 and almost immediately made his mark with a try on his first team debut against Rochdale on 18th August of that year.

He went on to play a major role in Rovers' historic 1952 Challenge Cup run, scoring a hat trick against Keighley followed by two more in the victory over Rochdale before creating Eric Batten's 400th career try in that famous third round win over the mighty Wigan.

Victory over Leigh in the semi final sent Rovers to their first ever Wembley Final where Ray scored a memorable try in the 18-10 defeat by Workington Town.

Rovers at that time were blessed with great scrum halves of the calibre of such as Tommy Smales and Don Fox and Ray played his last match for Rovers on 23rd August 1954 against Widnes before transferring to Rochdale.

Ray was quick, tenacious and used his outstanding rugby skills for the benefit of the team as a whole and was an important player during the early 1950's, a period which was the forerunner to further great times for the club.

I had the privilege of knowing Ray and his lovely wife, Sheila and he was a real gentleman in every sense of the word. Always immaculately dressed and a pleasant word for everyone, Ray was a popular and well respected man by all who knew him.

I'd like to offer our sincere condolences to the Evans family at this sad time. RIP Ray.

Edited by Maureen T-k

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My heart felt sympathy goes out to Barry and his family.

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R.I.P Ray. My sincere condolences to his family. Watched you all through the 1952 season including the cup run before I went for my National Service in Egypt. Great player and a great bloke. 

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The funeral service of former Rover, Ray Evans, will be held on Wednesday 30th August at the Methodist church Featherstone at 10.30am followed by cremation at Pontefract at 11.40am. A celebration of Ray's life will then be held at Featherstone Rovers Clubhouse.

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