Tributes to much-loved Star photographer

GLOBE-trotting former Evening Star photographer Tony Ray has died at the age of 72.The much-loved adventurer, who was once dubbed the human dynamo, passed away in his sleep early on Sunday.

GLOBE-trotting former Evening Star photographer Tony Ray has died at the age of 72.

The much-loved adventurer who was once dubbed the human dynamo passed away in his sleep early on Sunday.

Tributes have today been flooding in for Mr Ray who worked for the Evening Star and sister paper The East Anglian Daily Times for more than 40 years.

He leaves a wife, Mary and two children, Nicholas and Allison, and a stepdaughter Janet.

Mrs Ray, 73, of Humber Doucy Lane, Rushmere St Andrew, said on Saturday her husband had busier than usual, cycling to Woodbridge before going swimming and then walking home from the town as his bike had a puncture. He had also been playing on a trampoline with his great-granddaughter five-year-old Jolie.

She added that Mr Ray would be sadly missed. “He was a character. He would not say a bad word about anyone and he was kindness itself. He was a very special person who lived life to the full and was an inspiration to all.”

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Mr Ray retired around seven years ago and within a week he was climbing Spain's highest mountain in a snowstorm.

From then on, not content on putting his feet up during retirement, he tackled Australia, Nepal, Egypt and Thailand.

Often on his expeditions he would be the oldest by far but never let the generation gap get in his way.

Mr Ray recorded thousands of images during his career with local newspapers and was a well-known face around the county - from the Suffolk show, point to point racing, aerial photography and dramatic news incidents, he was always there.

Former star picture editor Dave Kindred paid tribute to Mr Ray today.

He said: “Tony was a larger than life character who had already served for several years as a top photographer on the team when I joined the company in 1963.

“He was great fun to work with and enjoyed the fun side of life both professionally and socially.

“He saw photography change from large format plate cameras through the 50s and 60s to 35mm and in the 90s to digital.

“He was a well known figure at Portman Road during the great days of Alf Ramsey leading the team to the Division One Championship.

“His photograph of Ray Crawford heading a goal to help secure the title in the final game of 1962 is one of the greatest moments captured on film in local sporting history.

“His stamina and incredible fitness saw him covering events carrying heavy camera equipment right up to his retirement without a hint of tiredness.

“He was always great company and often the joker in the pack; we will miss his laughter and great sense of fun.”

Star editor Nigel Pickover remembered Mr Ray as a hugely-talented photographer.

He said: “He gave outstanding service to both our company, the Suffolk community and to journalism in East Anglia.

“He was a great enthusiast and his smile was often there almost before he arrived. After his retirement he kept driving in the fast lane and took up travel writing and photography.

“Mountains and diving were two of his great passions and his stamina put much younger people to shame. He had a great love of life and a great life and was never left wondering what might have been - because he had already done it!.”

n. Send us your tributes to Mr Ray to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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