Ray Keen (Gerrards Cross)
It is with much sadness that I have to inform you of the passing of Ray Keen after a short illness.
We probably all came into contact with Ray, whether as an umpire on finals weekend, the Association League, Junior Academy, at club markers courses or as part of the opposition on the bowls green. Whatever Ray did, he did it wholeheartedly.
Ray was a loyal club player and had recently joined Gerrards Cross BC from Chesham. He was a competitive bowler but win, lose or draw, he was a sporting gentleman on and off the green and his astute sense of humour and infectious laugh rang round many a clubhouse. He represented Bucks in Bowls England celebration games and played for the Friends of English Bowling.
He was a stalwart of Buckinghamshire Bowls Association, being the Men’s President in 2014, played for Bucks on 117 occasions and was a regular member of the county’s Home Counties League team. As well as being as being a member of the BBA Executive, he was also the Men’s Bowls England Delegate for the county, HCL Delegate and the instigator of the highly successful Association League, which he administered so superbly. He organised the green starring schedule and the venue for the men’s county luncheon, making sure the BE guests were suitably looked after. He was also very supportive of the county’s Junior Academy, assisting with the administration on the Open Days.
Never one to let the grass grow under his feet, he often appeared on domestic greens as an umpire and marker. He was a much-respected International Technical Official and was one of four English ITOs selected for duties at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, in 2018. He was always happy to share his knowledge and experience with others and organised courses for clubs wishing to instruct members to be better markers. For some years, he organised the rota for the county umpires’ duties for inter-county and various final rounds of county competitions.
Our condolences to Terri, his family and many friends. We are all devastated to have lost such a wonderful man and he will be very fondly remembered by us all.