The Collingwood Football Club wishes to acknowledge the passing of former player Ray Thomas, who died recently aged 80 after a number of health battles.

Ray joined the club from Albury in 1961, having won that team’s best-and-fairest award the previous year, aged 20. A fast and fearless rover, he played four senior games for the Pies – being named among our best players in two of them – and 10 reserves games in his only year at the club.

At the end of 1961 he decided he didn’t like living in the city and returned to Albury, whereupon he embarked upon a remarkable local sporting career. He played and coached locally, then returned to his boyhood club Albury, where he would end up playing 197 games (including a flag under Murray Weideman in 1966), and representing the Ovens and Murray League six times. He also coached Little League, Albury Juniors and Albury Thirds, and most significantly served as Albury seniors’ head trainer for 35 years! By the time he was inducted into the O&M Hall of Fame in 2007 he had devoted more than 50 years of his life to football and the local community.

Ray was a local legend in and around Albury – and not just for his football service either. He was a renowned athletics coach who trained 2000 Stawell Gift winner Jarrem Pearce, among others.

The Board, management, staff, coaches and players of the Collingwood Football Club acknowledge Ray Thomas’s contribution to our footy club, and to his local community. Our thoughts are with his family, and all his friends from Collingwood, Albury and beyond.

Side by Side.

To read Ray’s full story and the stats from his career, check his bio on Forever.