Once again, we are mourning the loss of a dearly loved member of the Cambridge United family: Ray Proctor, brother of United’s Fans’ Elected Director Colin and a committed supporter from the late 1940s.
Colin writes: Ray was born in Ditton Fields, right next to his beloved club. He attended Brunswick School and moved on to St George’s at the age of 11.
On leaving school at 15 he became an apprentice panel beater at the bottom of Ditton Walk. He did his three-year apprenticeship and then decided to become a fireman on British Rail. He enjoyed his time working with many friends on the railway and his claim to fame was firing on the Flying Scotsman from Cambridge to Liverpool Street. All his mates were very envious of that trip.
Ray left the railway, like many others, when Dr Richard Beeching and the Conservative government axed much of the country’s rail infrastructure in the 1960s. He then joined CIS Insurance and very quickly moved upwards to become an inspector.
Ray’s selling ability was exceptional, and he was in line to become a manager. Our family business (Proctor Upholstery and Removals) was going from strength to strength and in 1975 we encouraged Ray to become Transport Manager, helping us to become the second largest company of its kind in East Anglia. After many successful years our family business was purchased by a London firm in 1983, and Ray worked as a taxi driver from then until the present day.
Growing up, we all had that desire to support Abbey United. It was a fantastic time. In 1954, Ray and I travelled to Newport in Wales to see the U’s play in the first round of the FA Cup. This was a history-making trip for us as we had never been out of Cambridge, and it was also the first time we had played a Football League club. We supported the club with many of our friends, and it was in our blood never to miss a game.
Ray was married in 1959 and had three sons and a daughter. He, one son and a grandson have been season ticket holders for many years. Ray was a long-term member of the Vice-Presidents’ Club.
He will be sadly missed by all the Proctor family and especially his beloved Cambridge United.
His proud brother Colin. RIP Ray.
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