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Tributes flow for Shortwood legend Billy Reay

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Heartfelt tributes have flowed for former Shortwood United chairman Billy Reay, who sadly passed away yesterday, Thursday.

A former player and latterly treasurer and chairman at the Nailsworth club, Billy was also a keen golfer and a caddie for his close friend Stuart Little, the European Tour and Minchinhampton New Course professional.

Club secretary Jim Cunneen led the tributes, he said: “This is a very sad day for the club as I have to write that Billy Reay has sadly passed away. Billy passed peacefully in his sleep and was surrounded by his family.

“Billy joined the club as a player in his early 20s and became part of the beating heart of the club and when he stopped playing he took on many roles in the club and latterly became treasurer and chairman.

“Billy had a great sense of humour and was a great friend to many of us.

“His love of Shortwood was obvious and it is difficult to imagine the club without him. There will be a minutes silence before the game against Malmesbury this evening and we will all raise a glass to him.

“Rest in peace our friend and our love and and thoughts are with wife Sally, and all his family and friends.”

Shortwood director of football Jason Scrivens thanked Billy for giving him his opportunity at the Nailsworth club, he added: ” RIP Billy. He gave me the opportunity here and we worked closely together to push the club in the right direction, a true gent who will be sadly missed.”

Former manager John Evans said: “So sad. Billy was one of my favourite people and we shall miss him so much. Hope he’s on the heavenly Laphroaig.”

Ex-Shortwood keeper Tom King said: “Such sad news. Billy was a lovely guy. RIP.”

4 | Tributes flow for Shortwood legend Billy Reay
left to right: Bill Reay, Pete Martin, Sally Reay, Tim Ewart-James former pro, Chris Martin

Former manager Alex Sykes said: “Really sad news. RIP Billy, always a pleasure to spend time in his company.”

Former player John Cant said: “Such sad news, was a great guy with a great sense of humour.”

Ex-player Luke Benneyworth said: “What a great bloke Bill was, couldn’t be more warm and welcoming. RIP mate.”

Minch FC said: “Sorry to hear this sad news. Shortwood and the local football community has lost a fine loyal servant. Condolences to Bill’s family of course.”

Stroud RFC said: “Stroud are saddened to hear of the loss of a true club stalwart.”

Nailsworth Town councillor Steve Robinson said: “So sorry to hear that Billy has passed away. Thoughts are with Sally and the family.”

Former work colleague Dave Hanks said: “Very sad news, I first met Billy at McEvoy back in the 70s and considered him a good friend. We kept in touch all those years and I am very glad we did. He was a great guy. Condolences to Sally and all of the family.”

 

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