Outside right Harold Raymond “Ray” Smith joined the Tigers as a youngster in May 1951 and signed his first professional contract for the club in August 1952. This was a time when Hull City were signing numerous high profile players so it was no surprise that Smith had to wait over two years for his first chance to play in City’s first team. After making his debut in November 1954 Smith returned to first team action in April 1955, selected by newly appointed manager Bob Brocklebank. After narrowly avoiding relegation City began the 1955/56 season with Ray starting the first three matches at inside forward. He returned in October at outside right but was then back in the Reserves for three months, coming back to the first team in March 1956 for nine consecutive starts. During this final spell of action he scored his two goals for the club, in a 1-1 draw at West Ham and a 4-1 win over Barnsley.
Ray left the Tigers in the 1956 close season and joined Midland League side Peterborough United. The Posh won the Midland League in each of Smith’s first four seasons at the club, and Smith played a large part in that as he scored 75 times in 115 appearances. Peterborough were elected to join Division Four in the summer of 1960 and Ray made an impressive return to the Football League, missing only one League game all season and scoring 22 goals in all competitions including hattricks in December 1960 against Millwall and March 1961 against Aldershot. Ray’s goals, allied with the 54 netted by strike partner Terry Bly, propelled Peterborough to the Fourth Division title in the club’s first season in the Football League and Smith’s form continued at the start of the 1961/62 season as he netted five times in his first 13 starts. As the season wore on he missed six weeks due to injury and when he returned his goals dried up, although his form did return in the last couple of months of the season. Ray began the 1962/63 season with two goals in three games but his relationship with the Peterborough management weakened and after scoring a September 1962 goal against his hometown club he left Posh a month later and joined local rivals Northampton Town for a £4,000 fee. He had scored 36 goals in 113 senior appearances for Peterborough, taking his overall tally of goals for the club to 111.
Ray’s time with the Cobblers was short lived, he missed three months of football to injury and scored 4 times in 14 starts during the remainder of the 1962/63 season. He started the 1963/64 season as first choice inside right for Northampton but in October 1963 he was on the move again, joining his third Third Division side Luton Town in return for a £3,000 fee – he had scored eight goals in 24 starts for Northampton. At Luton Smith continued to struggle with injuries and after only 13 starts and two starts for the Hatters he retired in the 1964 close season and returned to Hull.
Date/Place of Birth: 13 September 1934, Hull
Hull City First Game: 13 November 1954, Bristol Rovers H (Division Two), 20 years, 61 days old
Hull City Final Game: 21 April 1956, Middlesbrough A (Division Two), 21 years, 221 days old
Hull City (1951-1956), Peterborough United (1956-1962), Northampton Town (1962-1963), Luton Town (1963-1964)
Hull City Record
Career: 23 apps, 2 goalsRay Smith