Almanac Footy Teams – A team of Rays





The End of Rays?


Ray is another name that has been consigned to the margins of history.

Jay has replaced Ray this century.


Must be something about the letter J that parents believe will give their sons an identity they can be proud of.


In 100 years will someone be remembering the Jays, Jarryds, Jaspers, Jacks, Jeds, Jobes and Jyes?


The name Ray was popular through the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s. It started to dwindle by the 1980s and was virtually extinct by the end of the 20thcentury.


Adelaide, Freo, Gold Coast, GWS, Port and West Coast have not had a Ray represent them in the VFL/AFL.


Trivia Question: Who was the last Ray to play in the VFL/AFL?


Almanackers, here is your chance to nominate your favourite Rays from Australian Football.



B:     Byrne (Carl/Coll)              Ball (Sth)            Boyanich (Rich)


HB:  Wilson (Haw)                   Jencke (Haw)             Card (Geel)


C:    Wartman (Melb)               Huppatz (Foot)        Walker (Foot)


HF:   Smith (Ess/Melb)                Poulter (Rich)           Yeoman (Haw)


F:     Baxter (Foot)                      Biffin (Melb)         Johnston (NM)


Ruck:    Gabelich (Coll)            Cross (StK)              Shaw (Coll)


Inter:      Hall (Rich)          Groom (Melb)            Slocum (Fitz)            Windsor (Bris)


Coach: Brew (Carl)


Umpires: ‘Razor’ Ray Chamberlain Ray Sleeth Ray Kelsey


Entertainment: Ray Charles




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About Phillip Dimitriadis

Carer/Teacher/Writer. Author of Fandemic: Travels in Footy Mythology. World view influenced by Johnny Cash, Krishnamurti, Larry David, Toni Morrison and Billy Picken.


  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Stephen Rae, St Kilda/Richmond? A real coodabeen!

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Ray ‘Radish’ Prior played a few games for Centrals in the early 70s. He is the brother of Wayne ‘Fang’ Prior and the better known Centrals defender Mark Prior.

  3. Hip, hip HOORAY – finally a team of Rays
    There’s plenty of sting in this team of Rays

  4. Noted London ganglands enforcer Ray Winstone would go well off a half-back flank.

  5. Assistant coach: Ray “Slug” Jordan.

  6. Back in the early 70’s Axiom had a big hit with ‘A Little Ray Of Sunshine’.

    I know Farren Ray, has his name at the wrong end, but is he the most recent Ray to grace an AFL oval?

    Ray Sterrett came over from Eastern South Africa to play a few games @ the “Cattery”, under Blighty.

    Ray Robinson was an Australian sports writer, not to forget the pugilist “Sugar Ray” Robinson.


  7. Johnie Ray would record the club song.
    Back in the fifties Ray Wttiicker was the Port Magpies captain in the SANFL. Ray was an extremely skilled rover, a match winner on his day. In the late fifties Ray accepted a job coaching in the South East. I got to know Ray in the late sixties as he was a keen fisherman like me. Ray told me numerous interesting stories about his playing days, often about how he often crossed swords with his coach, Fos Williams. According to Ray, Williams wanted him to use , what he considered unsavoury tactics against his opponents, in particular Lindsay Head. Apparently Ray would say “Yes Fos, OK Fos” and then ignore the tactics. Ray was extremely confident in his skills to carry the day. Ray confided in me that the reason he left Port, a team he really loved, was firstly for the money and secondly to get away from Fos.
    For many years I fished with ray and found him to be a great bloke. For a while he won a battle against cancer but it finally got him in the end.. .

  8. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Fans of Pot Black may recall Ray ‘Dracula Reardon :

  9. Luke Reynolds says

    Couple of great Collingwood names in the following division Phil.
    I remember Ray Windsor kicking a goal for the Bears to draw a game against West Coast at Cararra, probably the high point of his career.

    Test cricketing Rays were hard to come by, unable to make an XI but a few good names, including the great Ray Lindwall, Ray Bright, England captain Ray Illingworth and Ray Price, who took 80 Test wickets for Zimbabwe.

  10. DBalassone says

    Good work Phil. Ray Biffin: now that’s a 70s VFL name if ever I heard one. A handy cricketer too.
    Luke, do you recall a hield cricketer called Mark Ray, who later became a beared journalist.

  11. Les Everett says

    Please add Ray Montgomery to the list of umpires… 300+ games in the WAFL

    And the brilliant centreman Ray Sorrell (East Fremantle*) the 1963 Sandover Medal winner. A stylist. *He also played a few games for South Fremantle. Probably better than anyone in the named team apart from Ray Charles.

  12. Ray Biffin, a handy player in poor Melbourne teams in the early 1970’s. He played at the bookends, and i’m sure he was on Peter Hudson in R 1 1972 when Hudson did his knee. I may add Hudson had already kicked 8 goals, and it wasn’t yet 1/2 time.

    Phil some more names you may be interested in. Colin, Ken, both seem out of vogue in the 2000’s. Noel is another name that’s rarely heard . I can recall 3,1/2 Noel’s, but none since the early 1970’s


  13. David Zampatti says

    I’m with Les. Ray Sorrell is a must-add – he’s the only Ray (I think) in the Australian Football Hall of Fame, and was twice All-Australian, so that qualifies him even if he didn’t ply his trade in the swampy confines of Melbourne football.
    The fearsome Ray Lucev of West Perth did, however, in two seasons for South Melbourne. He could only play in attack because he gave away too many free kicks to be a defender, most for acts that would have considerably reduced the number of games he played if he was going around now. Lucev has to be in, if only for the fear of God he’d put in teams of another name.

  14. Is Rory the new Ray?

  15. Dave Brown says

    Not surprisingly it would appear that all Redleg Rays (9) played at the club between 1942 and 1971 and 5 of them were at the club between 1953 and 1955. The most prolific and recent was (Charles) Ray Woolford who played 75 games as a ruckman/forward/back pocket between 1964 and 1971. It’s one of those names that’s hard to imagine making a comeback, but you never know.

  16. Ray Steele OBE was well known as the bald bloke in a suit in the front row of every Ashes cricket tour team picture of England in the 60’s and 70’s. Less well known that he played 42 games for Richmond in the 40’s.
    Ray Davies is Earl O’Neil’s favourite footballer. Played 25 games for the Kanga’s in the 60’s. Legendary for his endurance. All of the Day and All of the Night.

  17. Typical Victorian selection bias. How could you ignore generous Almanac Grand Final guest speaker Ray Buckley (father of Nathan) who played 75 games for Woodville in the SANFL.
    Ray Button (Glenelg) was a mercurial left footed half forward who took several Marks of the Year in the 60’s standing on blokes heads. Sadly none have survived into the internet age.
    Ray Hank (West Torrens) was best known as brother of triple Magarey Medallist Bob. Ray played 169 games for the Eagles and 5 times for SA in interstate games and was in the 1953 premiership side.
    Ray Trenorden (North Adelaide) played 176 games for the Roosters including their 1960 flag as a half back flanker.

  18. Andrew Starkie says

    Jai is the new Ray, i think.

    Mickey, I have an English colleague whose father is a Ray winstone lookalike. Have only seen a photo but i was intimidated.

  19. Rulebook says

    Continuing on from Dave Ray Jarrett great redlegs man can be a official and general helper thanks Phil

  20. Luke Reynolds says

    Damian, I know of Mark Ray only as a cricket writer, had no idea he’d played Shield.
    Looked him up, 44 First-Class games for NSW and Tasmania, quite a reasonable career.

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