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2016-08-22 07:03:40

Albion in mourning for legend Ray Barlow Express Star A Baggies statement today read: "The great Ray Barlow stands at the pinnacle of the club's story, one of a handful of truly world class footballers that Albion have produced over 130 years and more of existence." Barlow joined the Baggies as a teenager and made his debut in 1944, just two days after his 18th birthday. He went on to become the creative lynchpin of one of the club's greatest ever teams in the 1950s. After leaving The Hawthorns he also played for Birmingham and once retired he ran a tobacconist and sweet shop in West Bromwich. He later ran a post office in Stourbridge and continued to live in the town until being struck down by ill health in recent years. The club said: "There have been few passers of the ball to rank with him, not just at The Hawthorns, but in the game of football. "No less a judge than Bobby Robson called him one of the best players he ever worked with, and that was no empty compliment for Barlow lived up to the accolade time and again in his 482 games for the club. "The pinnacle came in 1953/54 when Barlow was the heartbeat of 'The Team Of The Century' that missed becoming the first team to do the league and cup double in the 20th century by a whisker, coming second in the First Division." And the tribute ended: "A quiet, retiring figure, Barlow shunned the limelight, perhaps accounting for the fact that he made just one England appearance, a scandalous statistic for a player of his incandescent brilliance. But England's loss was Albion's gain. "Ray Barlow will forever be a cornerstone of the football club, one of its true legends, one of the foundations upon which Albion are built. We will never see his like again. "Our thoughts are with his family and friends." A true legend of a wonderful era,when football truly was a beautiful game,not the money obsessed cheats circus we see today. Met Ray at a charity evening for Clive Clark some years ago,he had a lovely kind and approachable manner but what struck me more than anything was his height and that he had an almost catlike grace that even though I not seen him play suggested to me he would of been quite something to behold in his pomp! We will not see his like again. Condolences to his family and friends. I saw him play his first game. The previous week, a kid named Ball and Ray had scored about 13 goals in a reserve match. From memory only here, we lost 2 0 to Walsall and it was February 1945. alongside, so it didn work really. He played some games at inside left and had a good shot on him, later moving back to left half. In later parts of his career he also played centre half. I would never try to choose my favourite between him and Ronnie Allen, I idolised both. Something the great players have is magnetism, the ball seems to be attracted to them and it sticks once it arrives. Ray had that in abundance. I also had the great pleasure of speaking to him as we went in The Halfords, around 1998 I think. I told his son to take great care of him, he was precious. Too young to remember Ray but know my Dad and particularly my late Grandad held him in the highest esteem. A wonderful player from a time well before football became tainted by money and greed, where Ray Ban RB3460 Aviator Flip Out Sunglasses Silver Frame
Ray Ban RB3460 Aviator Flip Out Sunglasses Silver Frame players played with pride and honour, Ray commanded respect from such greats of the game as Bobby Moore and Sir Bobby Robson. Nothing further needs to be said. To have won only one England cap is nothing far short of scandalous, but as Baggies fans we can unfortunately relate to that on numerous counts. However, we know how to commemorate our own and the fact that Ray was voted in the top 16 players in Albion great history proves what a significant figure he was. I must also say well done and thanks to all of the Wolves fans on this site remembering one of our greatest with their kind words, particularly at a time when their club is in such turmoil. It just proves that despite our great, and sometimes over intense rivalry, somewhere deep inside there is a mutual respect. God bless Ray, an Albion legend and above all, a true Gent. On 25th September 1954 I saw my first Albion game at The Hawthorns. Why? He was tall, blondish, moved elegantly, seemed THE PLAYER TO WATCH, stroked the ball round effortlessly, could tackle, cover, move forward and create and score goals, and apart from Bobby Robson Bobby Moore comments about him, I believe TOM FINNEY said BARLOW was the greatest player he ever played against.

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