Ray Gravell

November 3, 2007 1:42pm CST
Very sad to note that Ray Gravell died on Friday in Spain. He was so young, 56, my age in fact. He was one of the best, in all walks of life and especially as a rugby player. He played for the Scarlets (Llanelli Rugby Club) and for Wales and was a force to be reckoned with. Those were the glory days of Welsh rugby. Everyone knew 'Grav' but once upon a time, I and my then husband, ran the Lottery for Llanelli Rugby Club. This was in 1981 to 1985. Ray was just finishing off his rugby playing career then. He would often turn up to the club in the week and have a cup of tea with me in the Lottery office. On some occasions he would visit just before a match . This would often be a match against Swansea rugby club and his thoughts then would all be about playing his arch rival: Paul Moriarty. I would make him tea and try to calm him down. Strange to think that 'Moriarty' is now on the management team for the Scarlets! The lottery closed down due to the Miner's Strike and never really got going again. The the league system etc. came in and they had a professional team take over all the promotional side. I lost touch with the club but would see Ray from time to time and always had a chin wag and a joke with him. I hadn't seen him for a while though and was so sorry to hear about his illness. I always thought he would bounce back but although he did seem to, he didn't seem quite right. I think my partner hit it on the head, when he saw Grav on Max Boyce's show just before the start of the World Cup, he was going through the motions, having a laugh but his eyes told a different tale, they seemed to be 'dead'! My partner felt he was depressed. As he suffers from this himself I think he is an authority on this. I am so sad that I won't now have the chance to catch up with Ray again and see if he remembered our times at the club and how I used to give him tea. My heart goes out to his family, friends and to the club. It's devastating news. Wherever you are Ray, I hope you are now free of pain and looking down on us all from a beautiful cloud.
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