Belfast Telegraph

Linfield pay tribute to legendary ex-player Ray Gough

 

Linfield football club has paid tribute to one of its most revered former players, Ray Gough.

Linfield announced Mr Gough passed away in hospital in Exeter on Sunday aged 80.

He achieved legendary status among fans after winning seven trophies with his team-mates in the historic 1961/2 season.

Club director Billy Kennedy said he had lost a good friend and had fond memories of his heroics in a blue jersey.

"He was a cultured wing-half whose footballing skills added real quality to that all-conquering team and, as a person, he was an absolute gentleman, quiet spoken and modest," he said.

"Ray was a proud Shore Road man, growing up in the Premier Drive area, and he joined Linfield from Crusaders in 1957 in a joint deal that involved left-winger Bobby Braithwaite, who also was to become a Windsor legend."

Mr Gough later settled in Exeter, playing for the local team and running a business.

He would regularly travel home to north Belfast, enjoying visits to Windsor Park and always maintaining his deep affection for Linfield.

Mr Kennedy continued: "I recall on an occasion when he was sidelined with a broken leg around 1962, then Ray travelled to Glasgow with members of my Frontier Linfield supporters club from Newry to see a Rangers game at Ibrox.

"Sadly, Ray's death leaves only five members of the great seven-trophy team alive - Ken Gilliland, Isaac Andrews, Bobby Irvine, Billy Wilson and Hubert Barr. My deepest sympathy is extended to Ray's surviving family."

Honoured with a life membership of Linfield for his contribution to the club, Mr Gough returned to Belfast in 2012 for a 50th anniversary celebration of the famous winning streak with his team-mates.

He is also well remembered at Linfield for playing in one of the club's most historic European ties, against Vorwarts in East Berlin.

Details on Mr Gough's funeral have yet to be announced.

Belfast Telegraph

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