Centre half Raymond Stanley Lawrance stood at an impressive six foot two inches when he entered the footballing profession at Gainsborough Trinity during the early 1930s. After an impressive performance for Trinity against the Tigers’ Reserves in the Midland League, Ray joined Hull City in January 1934. He was signed by Jack Hill, another lanky central defender turned manager, and stepped straight into the City reserves side. He made his first team debut on the last day of the 1933/34 season and made three further starts in the closing weeks of the 1934/35 season, deputising for another statuesque defender, the Welshman William Tabram.
At the start of the 1935/36 season Hill paired Tabram with ex-Sunderland defender Gordon Dreyer, but within three weeks Lawrance was bought into the first team to replace Dreyer. Lawrance remained in the first team for the rest of the season as Hill’s Tigers plummeted down the table – a plummet that was not arrested when Hill was replaced by returning manager David Menzies. Lawrance scored his only goal for the Tigers in February 1936, during a 2-3 defeat against Bury. City were relegated to Division Three North in May 1936 and Ray was released during the close season.
He joined Newport County in May 1936 and made 38 starts over the next three seasons as he flitted between the first team and the reserves at Somerton Park. He assisted the Welsh side when they won the Division Three South title in 1938/39. When World War Two ended the Football League in September 1939 Lawrance played a number of wartime friendlies for Newport, including an 11-0 drubbing of Torquay United in June 1940. Ray also played wartime games for Gloucester City and Swindon Town during the early years of the War, while serving as a fireman in the Newport area.
After the war Lawrance became a football coach in the Netherlands and was on the coaching staff when HFC Haarlem won their only Dutch League title in 1946. Later in life he returned to Newport in South Wales, where he died in July 1987.
Alongside his capabilities as a footballer Lawrance was an accomplished club cricket professional. In 1935 he was appointed the cricket coach at Hymers College.
Date/Place of Birth: 18 September 1911, Gainsborough
Hull City First Game: 5 May 1934, Burnley H (Division Two), 22 years, 229 days old
Hull City Final Game: 10 April 1936, Newcastle United A (Division Two), 24 years, 205 days old
Gainsborough Trinity, Hull City (1934-1936), Newport County (1936-1939)
Hull City Record
Career: 34 apps, 1 goalsRay Lawrance