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Great Winner Great Memories

Ray Wrightson -North Shields Legend.

Ray joined Bedlington Terriers from his local club Nelson Village and immediately created  a club record for the Terriers in the Northern Alliance League by hitting 73 goals in a season.

The Cramlington factory worker moved to Whitley Bay -that club didn’t want him to leave and amid a blaze of publicity and after  dispute lasting more than 2 months the Northern League Management Committee eventually ruled that he could at last play for Shields.

“I was happy when it was all settled” said Ray “for until then I was only able to turn out in cup matches and the reserves.”

Aged 26 when he joined the Robins his speed off the mark and his sharp busy style soon made him a fans favourite and a regular in Frank Brennan’s line-up.

During that never to be forgotten campaign of 1968-9 Ray made 29 appearances scoring 13 times.

Three of those goals came on the march to Wembley -his first in the 4-1 win over Spennymoor in the First Round then the goal that earned a home draw with Hendon in Round 3 and the first in the replay as Shields triumphed 2-0 against the Isthmian Leaguers.

He also netted 4 times in the FA Cup that year -a brace against both Boldon CW and Murton CW and 2 of his 5 League goals came against former club Whitley Bay.

Five days after the Wembley triumph Ray notched another strike at Willington but no more that year as injury curtailed his season but the Robins went on to complete a glorious treble.

Following a pre-season trip to Holland Ray played 15 times in 1969-70 including in both legs if the European Amateur Cup (Barassi Trophy) as North Shields ruled Europe 

He scored 6 goals including 4 against Ferryhill with the F A Cup First Round match at Hartlepool on Saturday November 15 his last for the club 

Along with fellow 69 teammates he was at Wembley again in 2015 to cheer on Shields in the FA Vase Final and with son Barry came to many a Robins game even in a wheelchair in recent years 

Ray Wrightson passed away on Saturday 19 February 2022 peacefully at home