POPULAR Spalding and District Snooker and Billiards League life vice-president Ray Perkins has passed away.
Ray, who spent 65 years of his life in the league, first played at Spalding Services in 1947.
He then moved to the Consti Club and was crowned Snooker Scratch Champion in 1970/71. Ray was also runner-up to Colin King in the same event in 1978/79, and played billiards. He was still an active player up until three weeks ago, aged 88.
Susan Lefley, match secretary of the league, said: “Ray was a lovely man. I don’t know anybody that didn’t respect him, he was a real gent.
“Everybody in the league appreciated him and he’ll be sorely missed.”
That’s a view echoed by Ray’s son-in-law Mick Johnson, one of the league’s top players.
“In his heyday Ray was a fierce competitor,” said the Consti cue ace. “He was very competitive – you didn’t play any friendly matches against Ray, that’s for sure.
“He wasn’t a flamboyant player that would make huge breaks, but that didn’t stop him being a champion in the 1970s.
“I’m sure everyone in the league will miss him dearly.”
Ray’s funeral is taking place tomorrow at Boston Crematorium, where family and close friends will say goodbye to one of the finest local men to grace the green baize.