A passionate sportsman with a love of life

Tony Bray.
Tony Bray.

WELL-KNOWN Morpeth sportsman Anthony Bray has died suddenly from a massive heart attack.

Mr Bray, who was known as Tony, died while out walking on Monday, October 24.

The 79-year-old lived in Morpeth for more than 40 years, raising his family in the town and holding many important posts.

After retiring from a long career with Alcan in Lynemouth he worked in a voluntary capacity with many organisations, including Morpeth Town Council, the Community Health Council, The Care Trust and Contact Morpeth Mental Health Group.

Mr Bray was a very active man and throughout his life sport played a major role. As a young man his passion was football, later he became a keen golfer, then he became devoted to running, taking part in marathons. Finally he enjoyed swimming, cycling and walking.

He joined Morpeth Harriers in 1982, was secretary of the North East Veteran Athletics Association and Castle Morpeth Sports Council, chaired the Morpeth to Newcastle Road Race Committee, and organised a torch relay from Lindisfarne to Morpeth to celebrate the Millennium.

He was instrumental in organising the annual Castle Morpeth Sports Award night, often acting as MC, and arranged for many high profile personalities to present the awards.

Mr Bray, an only child, was born on September 3, 1932 in London to Percy, a railwayman, and Elsie, a housewife.

After attending Woking Grammar School near Malden in Surrey he took on an engineering apprenticeship and worked in Birmingham and Wales.

In 1954, aged 21, he married Jean (nee Randall). They had three children, Kevin, Julie and Doug. The family moved to Nottingham in 1963 where Mr Bray worked for Balfour Beattie as a mechanical engineer specialising in power generation and turbines.

In 1969 the family moved to Northumberland, living briefly in Ashington before settling in Morpeth. Mr Bray worked for EPDC constructing a power station for the new aluminium smelter at Lynemouth, and later worked there as Head of Procurement for Alcan until his retirement.

In 1984, Mr Bray was widowed when his wife Jean died after a short illness from cancer. He remarried the following year after a whirlwind romance with widow Anne Nesbit, and became stepfather to Lesley, Heather and Jamie.

He enjoyed a very active retirement, travelling the world, as well as undertaking his community and sporting roles.

He was a member of Morpeth Methodist Church and the U3A group, and walked regularly with friends.

He was a grandfather to Louis, Darcy, Gemma, Jake, Philippa, Nick, Holly, Sophie and Will, and a father-in-law to Linda, Richard, Jo, Steve, Geoffrey and Rachel.

Heather Jan Brunt