Hastings footballing legend hangs up his boots due to ongoing knee injury

A Hastings footballing legend has hung up his boots.
Sean Ray with Hollington United boss - and best man - Scott PriceSean Ray with Hollington United boss - and best man - Scott Price
Sean Ray with Hollington United boss - and best man - Scott Price

Sean Ray, known to many by his nickname ‘Razor’, made more than 350 appearances for Hastings United across three spells and finished his career with Hollington United.

Ray, 38, was part of the Hastings team who reached the third round of the FA Cup in 2013. Five years on from the day Hastings faced MiddlesbroughHe also played for Rye United, St Leonards, Ashford United, Eastbourne Town, and Kingstonian He has hung up his boots due to an ongoing knee problem.

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Hollington United manager Scott Price was full of praise for Ray as a footballer and a friend.

Sean Ray celebrates a goal for Hastings in 2016Sean Ray celebrates a goal for Hastings in 2016
Sean Ray celebrates a goal for Hastings in 2016

He said: “Razor is not only one of the town’s finest ever players, he is also a very close friend who I had the privilege of being his best man many years ago.

“I also remember him as a young lad who lived behind me and would always be quick to tell me about the six or seven goals he’d scored for Firehills on a Sunday.”

Was player-manager of Hastings United for 21 months until resigning three days before the start of the 2013/14 season.

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At that time he said “There’s nobody else that club means more to than me”.

Sean Ray applauds the crowd at MiddlesbroughSean Ray applauds the crowd at Middlesbrough
Sean Ray applauds the crowd at Middlesbrough

That was also seven months after the club’s unforgettable FA Cup run ended with a valiant third-round proper defeat away to Championship side Middlesbrough, an occasion which Ray said “seems like a previous life”.

The FA Cup run contained six victories, including a second-round replay success at home to Harrogate Town which was matched by more than 4,000 fans at The Pilot Field and televised live on ESPN. After the run ended at Middlesbrough, Ray said: “I’m so proud of the players because they have done the town proud, the football club proud and themselves proud.”

Hastings were also relegated from the Ryman League Premier Division and reached the Sussex Senior Cup semi-finals in the same rollercoaster season.

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Ray went to school with Gareth Barry and they played together in the same William Parker team which won an English Schools’ FA national title. Former Sussex and England cricketer Michael Yardy was also in the side.

He is also a football coach. Has coached various Hastings United youth teams and part of this season’s Hastings United academy coaching set-up.

Price said: “Being able to get him to finish his career off at Hollington Utd where he won the league and cup double twice as well as the Sussex cup it’s fair to say he’s pretty much done the lot on the pitch.

“The respect he’s earned off all the players he’s played with is incredible but unsurprising. I’m hoping he will still be about the club and part of the management team as he has a lot to offer from that side too.

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“The one thing I’m really really pleased about is that he managed to share the same pitch with his son Jordan who has just started his journey.

“Not only was Razor a top top player, more importantly he is a top top person and will always be a close friend. All from Hollington Utd would like to thank him.”

Report by Mark Dunford and Simon Newstead