Congratulations Ray French MBE
Scratching Shed Publishing have sent their heartiest congratulations to author Ray French on his awarding of the MBE in the New Year Honours List for services to sport.
The distinguished, much admired dual code rugby international and the BBC’s voice of rugby league for almost 30 years has been one of the code’s most passionate supporters, championing countless branches of the community game after excelling on the field for St Helens, Widnes and his country.
A former teacher at Cowley School, he has recently penned Ray French…and Rugby for Leeds-based Scratching Shed, using his 60-year involvement in league and union to assess the current health of both sports, combined with a liberal sprinkling of lovingly told anecdotes taken from his career with ball and microphone.
Co-directors Phil Caplan and Tony Hannan commented: “There could be no more deserved recipient of such an accolade as Ray, he has been selfless in his support of the game. Naturally, on hearing of the award he immediately shied away from the huge personal honour and accepted it on behalf of the code which means so much to him but there is no doubt that he is one of rugby league’s greatest advocates and nicest men.”
The book, which sold particularly well in the run up to Christmas aided by an author’s tour which saw Ray undertake a number of signings in the North West, has gone into reprint and there will be a new passage commenting on the MBE and what it means to him in the second edition.
In 2011 Ray will be appearing at Oldham Library on 25th February and in the Wigan Words Literary Festival as part of Scratching Shed’s In League with Literature event, along with other book signings.
Brilliant news and a well-deserved honour for one of the most kind-hearted men involved in professional sport.
It’s been a pleasure getting to know Ray over the last few years.
Don’t forget to fill in HRH on all of St Helens’ latest news, Ray!