Raymond John “Ray” Pettit was born in West Hull and attended Ainthorpe High School before joining the Tigers apprentice scheme in July 1963. Turning professional in December 1964, he remained on the periphery of the first team squad throughout the 1965/66 Division Three title winning season and made his debut in October 1966 when deputising for Mike Milner. His introduction to first team action coincided with a run of consecutive defeats for Cliff Britton’s team so Pettit was taking out of the side and didn’t come back into contention until the closing weeks of the season when he replaced Milner as City’s centre half for five of the last seven matches. In the 1967/68 season he again deputised in defence for the Tigers and in February 1968 even had a game up front against Preston, such was City’s injury crisis at the time.
At the start of the 1968/69 season Britton elected to revamp his defensive line, which had become aged and reliant on players whose powers were waning. He turned to Pettit to play in the half back role and Ray accepted the challenge with aplomb, starting all but two matches in all competitions and establishing himself as a key part of the Tigers’ new look defence.
His form continued into the first three months of the 1969/70 season but in late October 1969 manager Britton was removed from his role and the City directors, who took over team selection responsibility, discarded Pettit. He returned for seven starts at the end of the season but his time in the first team was largely over. Ray stayed with the Tigers for two mores seasons but was unable to get any significant first team game time under new manager Terry Neill – though he did make a rare start in the infamous Boxing Day 1970 game against Sheffield Wednesday when City turned around a 1-4 deficit in the final minutes to claim a 4-4 draw. Ray left the Tigers in the 1972 close season.
In September 1972 Pettit transferred to Division Four side Barnsley, and slotted straight into the heart of the Tykes defence. In December 1972 Pettit scored the only goal of his senior career against Lincoln City, and he remained a Barnsley player for two seasons, making 58 appearances, though his game time was reduced in the 1973/74 season due to injuries. In July 1974 Ray joined Northern Premier League side Scarborough and at the end of April 1975 Scarborough reached the FA Trophy Final only to lose heavily to Matlock Town – Pettit played in that Final at Wembley alongside ex-Tigers Ken Houghton and Ian Davidson, as well as Jeff Barmby, father of future City manager Nicky Barmby. After that final Pettit joined the Customs Service in London and spent the next three years playing for Essex non-league side Romford. He remained working in London at the end of his playing days.
Date/Place of Birth: 11 December 1946, Hull
Hull City First Game: 29 October 1966, Bristol City H (Division Two), 19 years, 322 days old
Hull City Final Game: 21 August 1971, Oxford United H (Division Two), 24 years, 253 days old
Hull City (1964-1972), Barnsley (1972-1974), Scarborough (1974-1975), Romford (1975-1978)
Hull City Record
Career: 84 apps, 0 goalsRay Pettit
|1968/69||40 (0)||0||1 (0)||0||2 (0)||0||-||-||-||-|
|1969/70||21 (1)||0||-||-||2 (0)||0||-||-||-||-|