Former Manly first grade player and coach Ray Ritchie has passed away at the age of 78.
Mr Ritchie was born on October 31, 1936 in Paddington, and played for Manly, NSW and in Australia’s 1957 World Cup winning squad.
He joined the Sea Eagles in 1956, playing 49 first grade games, before being forced into early retirement in 1960 due to injury. Mr Ritchie remained committed to the Club, coaching the lower grades, before being promoted to first grade coach ahead of the 1981 season where he took Manly to the finals.
The following year he guided Manly to victory in the mid-week KB Cup competition, but fell one game short in the Grand Final of 1982, losing to Club Champions Parramatta.
Residing in Harbord, Ray continued to support his beloved Sea Eagles and was as ‘Manly’ as they come.
The Manly Sea Eagles offer their deepest condolences to the family and friends of Ray Ritchie at this difficult time. He will be remembered fondly for his contribution to the Club, to the game and to the community.
The Sea Eagles will recognise Mr Ritchie’s contribution to the Club at tomorrow night’s match against the Melbourne Storm. Players will wear black armbands and there will be a moment’s silence prior to kick off as a mark of respect for Ray and his family.
Ray was the loving husband of Georgina, devoted father of Sharon, Donna and Raymond, father-in-law to Mick and Koen, and Poppy to Jasmine, Sophia and Ben.
Family and friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Ray’s life on Tuesday 17th of March, 2015 at St John the Baptist Catholic Church, Johnson St, Freshwater at 11am.
Born: October 31, 1936, Paddington, NSW
Premiership Career: Played 49. Tries 37, Points 111
First Grade Debut: Manly v Newtown at Brookvale Oval, 20/8/55
NSW (1957) – Played 2. Tries 3, Points 9
Australia (1957) Played 1. Tries 1, Points 3.
Years - 1981-82
1982 Grand Finalists
1982 KB Cup Winners