Vale Ray Laycock
It is with sadness to acknowledge the passing of former state coach and Commonwealth Games representative Ray Laycock this past Boxing Day at 89 years of age.
Growing up in Beechworth, Ray moved to Melbourne in the 1950s before descending upon Creswick with his beloved wife Billee in 1956, where by the 1960s he dominated the Ballarat bowls scene and had arguably the greatest affect in Creswick Bowling Club’s history.
Catching the eye of state and national selectors, Ray competed in 188 interstate games from 1969 to 1987, skipping Victoria on 148 occasions while representing Australia in the 1986 Commonwealth Games Fours side and before 1988’s Australian Pairs Championships, followed by winning the Victorian Country Pairs, and State Pairs in 1990.
His mammoth achievements gave him a keen eye for state team selection duties from 1994 onwards before taking the reins as state coach in 2000 with Bowls Victoria acknowledging his incredible efforts with the state’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 2017.
- Ballarat Sportsman of the Year finalist – 1972, 1975, 1987.
- Winner of Hollioke Medal in 1986
- Champion of champions – 1966/67
- Pairs champion – 1975/1976, 1977/1978 and 1989/1990
- Singles champion in 1985
- Fours champion in 1982 & 1996
- Ray has represented BRBA in the Provincial Championships against the Bendigo, Geelong and Wimmera Bowls associations every year since 1960.
- Selector with the BRBA since 1969 and currently holds that position.
- Represented the BRBA with the Group One side in the Victorian Group Sides Championships, as a Skipper on 24 occasions since 1971.
Creswick Bowling Club:
- Club champion 9 times; 1966/67, 1975/76, 1980/81, 1983/84, 1984/85, 1987/88, 1988/89 and 1991/92.
- Club President: 1967-1968
- Committee member every year since 1958.
- Selector from 1960-2002/2003
- Coach since 1979.
- In 1987-1988 the original grass green (now synthetic) was named “The Ray Laycock Green” in honour of Ray ‘s selection for the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.
- Ray took over as the green caretaker in 1987 and progressively assumed the role of greenkeeper until 1996.
- Creswick Sportsman of the Year -5 times; 1968,1971, 1975, 1979 & 1987.
- HSV7 World of Sport: – Winner of “Drive to Jack” 3 times 1978, 1979 & 1981.
- Represented Victoria at the Australian and New Zealand Railways Institute Lawn Bowls Championships in Brisbane 1966; Canberra 1968 and Hobart 1970.
- Won the Pairs Championship in Brisbane in 1966.
Our thoughts are with his family at this time.
(Photo credit: The Courier, Ballarat.)