IT HAS been a poignant past week at Southam RFC following the passing of Ray Gubbins at the age of 91.
Ray, who passed away peacefully on July 22, came into rugby quite late on in his mid-20s after a stint in the merchant navy and played nearly all of his senior rugby for Newbold, for whom he captained for six years on the trot.
He soon became a back row legend within Newbold and surrounding clubs for his fierce tackling and uncompromising attitude to training, playing and celebrating after the game.
He moved to Southam with his wife Col and three children Brett, Kevin and Karen and they ran the Wine Stores in the High Street for many years, right up to their retirement.
It was here that Ray joined Southam and was instrumental in starting up mini and junior rugby and latterly finished off with coaching the Colts side for a number of years.
Ray was old school – demanding in training, attendance and commitment on the field.
There are many players and members who are indebted to Ray for having the foresight to start and run a Colts team at Southam and this provided the club with a steady flow of players and now committee members over the years.
Ray had been suffering from dementia for many years whilst in a nursing home in Leamington but still visited the club up until he became infirm and unable to travel.
The thoughts of everyone at the club go to his children Brett, Kevin and Karen, as a real character and rugby man has passed away.