Ray Crawford (footballer)
Ray Crawford (left) and former team-mate Ted Phillips at Portman Road
|Full name||Raymond Crawford|
|Date of birth||13 July 1936|
|Place of birth||Portsmouth, England|
|1965–1966||West Bromwich Albion||14||(6)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Crawford began his career as a trainee at his hometown club Portsmouth. He made his league debut on 24 August 1957 in a goalless draw with Burnley. He managed 19 appearances for the club at senior level before joining second flight Ipswich Town in August 1958.
A prolific striker, he helped Ipswich to win back-to-back titles, the Second Division in 1960-61 and the First Division in 1961-62. In the latter season, he was joint leading scorer in Division One – alongside Derek Kevan of West Bromwich Albion – with 33 goals. During this time, he won the first of his two England caps, becoming the first Ipswich Town player to be capped for England.
He was sold to Wolves in September 1963 where he scored 41 goals in 61 appearances (in total), before moving to rivals West Brom in January 1965, shortly before Wolves dropped out of the top flight. He failed to establish himself though at The Hawthorns and rejoined Ipswich in March 1965, where he played another three full seasons, lifting his tally for the club to 259 goals in all competitions.
He joined Charlton in March 1969, but soon dropped into the non-league with Kettering Town. He signed for Colchester United in June 1970 for £3,000 and in his only season with the club, scored 24 goals from 45 appearances. Most notably, he scored two goals for Colchester United in a giant-killing 3–2 victory against Leeds United in the fifth round of the FA Cup in 1971.
Crawford left English football after this season, heading to Durban City in South Africa, leaving an exceptional scoring rate in the Football League of 289 goals in 476 games. In his only season in South Africa, he won the cup and came finished runner-up in the league.
He became youth-team coach at Brighton in 1972 but left after Brian Clough became manager the following year. He then worked as youth team club at his former side Portsmouth until 1979 and later managed non-league Fareham Town and Winchester City for a short while beforein retiring from the game in 1984, and becoming a merchandising rep.
In 2007, he published his autobiography entitled "Curse of the Jungle Boy".
Crawford now works as a summariser on Express FM commentaries on Portsmouth matches and occasionally on Radio Suffolk on Ipswich Town games. He is known for his loud cheers and shouts and became an instant hit on Express FM.
Crawford's international career was surprisingly brief, winning only two caps. He made his international debut against Northern Ireland on 22 November 1961 and played in their next fixture, versus Austria on 4 April 1962, where he opened the scoring in a 3–1 win. It can be argued that Crawford's low amount of caps was because he was around when Jimmy Greaves was also creating a reputation as a proflic goalscorer.
He also played for the Football League representative team.
- Football League First Division Winner (1): 1961–62
- Football League Second Division Winner (2): 1960–61, 1967–68