Clarets' sadness at death of Ray Pointer

Clarets legend Ray Pointer, a key member of the Burnley Football Club team crowned champions of England in 1960, has died.

Saturday, 30th January 2016, 12:26 pm
The England football team which drew 1-1 with Wales at Ninian Park, Cardiff. Pictured left to right are : Back row - Jimmy Armfield, Bobby Robson, Peter Swan, Ron Springett, Ron Flowers and Ramon Wilson. Front row - John Connelly, Bryan Douglas, Ray Pointer, Johnny Haynes and Bobby Charlton. Photo: PA.

The centre-forward, known affectionately as the “blond bombshell”, played at Turf Moor from 1957 to 1964, and was the second top goal-scorer with 19 goals in that memorable 1959-60 season.

The 79-year-old died in the early hours of Tuesday morning at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Born in Northumberland, Pointer made 270 appearances for the Clarets scoring 132 goals, and later played for Bury, Coventry City and Portsmouth. He also won three England caps, scoring two international goals in 1961.

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Ray married his Burnley sweetheart Marilyn at St Stephen’s Church, Burnley Wood, and honeymooned in Jersey.

The pair met shortly after he arrived in the town where he signed his first professional contract.

They had three children, Stephen, Ann-Marie and Jonathan, and six grandchildren.

Jon said: “It has been touching to read so many tributes to my dad, both from people who knew him and complete strangers.

“To many people he was a legend, but to us he was our dad. He had a very modest upbringing and when he was young had a choice of following his dad down the mines or doing something else.

“Luckily he was fortunate enough to play football – after he had done his National Service.

“Away from football, dad was a very modest, easy-going person who would talk to anyone.

“Burnley was like his adopted home. He took Burnley to his heart and always kept an eye on their results.

“Dad also enjoyed his holidays to Greece and spending time with his family. He will be sadly missed by us all.”

A Burnley Football Club statement said everyone at the club was saddened to learn of the death of the former striker.

It continued: “Born in Northumberland in 1936, Ray joined the Clarets in 1955 after being spotted playing for Dudley Welfare by Burnley scout Charlie Ferguson.

“He had previously had a trial at Blackpool but signed at Turf Moor as an amateur and later as a full-time professional in 1957.

“He went on to become the Clarets’ second highest scorer of all time behind George Beel and was an integral part of the 1960 Championship winning side.

“In September 1961, he was chosen to lead the attack for England against Luxemborg at Wembley and found the net in the 4-1 victory.

“After moves later in his career to Bury, Coventry City and Portsmouth, Pointer retired and became a youth coach at Bloomfield Road, which saw him reunited with (manager) Harry Potts.

“In July 1978, he returned to Burnley as youth team manager before linking up with Martin Dobson at Bury as a coach.

“All of us at Burnley Football Club extend our sympathies to Ray’s family and friends at this very sad time.”