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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ray Jones RIP- Additional Tributes, Reports, Memories

[UPDATED: 3:30pm

Tributes have been paid following the tragic death of 18-year-old QPR and England footballer Ray Jones who died in the early hours of Saturday morning.
A forward with a promising future for both club and country, Jones played 35 times for QPR last season and earned several call ups to the England U19 squad although injury restricted him to just one cap last term.
FA Chief Executive Brian Barwick sent his deepest sympathies to the family: "It is absolutely tragic news to lose someone so young with such a bright future.
"Ray was a fantastic lad and a player with great potential, he proved that last season with QPR and in earning his place in the England U19 squad. The coaches in our youth setup always enjoyed working with him - it's devastating news.
"On behalf of The FA I would like to send my deepest condolences to all the family and friends of Ray and everyone at Queen's Park Rangers." FA

John Gregory has described the late Ray Jones as 'a beautiful boy, who had the potential to become a QPR legend.'
Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk this afternoon, Gregory said: "Ray was a beautiful boy. He was a fantastic person, with a big, big heart.
"He was only 18 years of age and had his best footballing years in front of him. He was already a hero amongst QPR supporters and he had the potential to go on and become a legend.
"I remember he was the star of the show in my first few weeks here.
"He scored the first goal of my reign against Hull City and then notched a typical Ray Jones goal against Southampton a week later.
"He really did have the footballing world at his feet and the fact he can't go on and fulfil the undoubted potential he had is a tragedy in itself.
"It's hit everyone at the Football Club really hard. The players are absolutely devastated.
"Ray was one of the most popular figures in the dressing room. No-one ever had a bad word to say about him and that for me says everything you need to know about Ray Jones, the person and the footballer.
"It's a tragic loss and our sympathies and condolences go out to his family and friends at this awful time." QPR

Ray Jones RIP in Wikipedia - Wikpedia Profile

Sunday People -News FLASH - Crash victim Ray 'a tragic loss' to QPR
Midfielder Gareth Ainsworth led the tributes for his QPR team-mate Ray Jones, who was tragically killed in a car crash yesterday.
Ainsworth said: "This is just unbelievable news. I spent a lot of time with him and he had what it takes to go right to the top. He was a fantastic lad.
"He worked hard at his game and had a smile for everyone. My condolences and those of everyone at QPR go to his family. He will be terribly missed."
Rangers cancelled yesterday's match at Burnley and chairman Gianni Paladini said: "We are all shocked. It's a huge loss - Ray had the world at his feet."
The talented England Under-19 forward was due to celebrate his 19th birthday on Tuesday.
Former QPR Head of Youth Joe Gallen, who signed Jones for the Loftus Road academy, said: "This is absolutely tragic. Ray was the real deal.
"We found him playing in a youth league in Essex and he hit six goals in 18 games last year." People

BBC - "Former QPR manager Ian Holloway, who is now at Plymouth, added his own tribute: "It's a terrible tragedy. A young life taken away. A young talent gone.
"I knew him, he was a great kid and a fantastic talent as well, so my heart bleeds for all of them. For me there's no worse thing than to have to bury your child and I'm so sorry for them." BBC

Sunday People England ace Jones killed in car smashBy Tom Carlin
England youth soccer star Ray Jones died with two pals in an horrific car smash yesterday.
The Queens Park Rangers striker, 18, is thought to have been at the wheel when a VW Golf crashed into a double-deck bus.
Qpr postponed yesterday's match with Burnley as tributes flooded in for Jones. The Championship club's chairman Gianni Paladini said: "Ray had the world of football at his feet and will be sorely missed."
The other youths who died in the early-hours crash in East Ham, east London, were named as Jess Basilua and Adris Olasupo, both 17.
Brothers Mark and Arthur Conrad were injured. The five had been school pals in East Ham.
Team-mates said Jones, who would have been 19 on Tuesday, was "a fantastic lad". People

By Grant Hodgson
Devastated footballers called off a Championship game yesterday after a teammate was killed in a horror smash.
Talented England under-19 and Queens Park Rangers striker Ray Jones, 18, died when his VW Golf hit a double-decker bus.
Two 17-year-old passenger pals also died while two others, also 17, were injured in the East London pile-up in the early hours yesterday.
QPR's game at Burnley later yesterday was scrapped after teammates told bosses they were too upset to play. A QPR source said: "The club is in mourning following the tragic news."
The mum of Ray's injured pals, Miriam Magambo, said: "Ray died instantly. The whole thing is terrible." And family friend Yomi Onimole, 32, said: "He lived for football. Everyone is devastated."
Ray, who would have turned 19 on Tuesday, was at home in London because a foot injury had ruled him out of the Burnley clash.
The 6ft 4ins striker first signed for QPR at 15 and was called up to the England under-19 squad after scoring six goals last season. Sunday Mirror

The Observer - QPR mourn death of striker Jones
Match at Burnley postponed after promising teenager dies in accident
Jason Tomas Sunday August 26, 2007
QPR's match at Burnley was postponed after the death of their teenage striker Ray Jones - one of the most exciting young players outside the Premiership - in a car accident in east London on Friday night.
Jones, who was due to celebrate his 19th birthday on Tuesday, was a product of QPR's youth system. After his first-team debut in April 2006, against Watford, he made 35 appearances for them in all competitions last season - scoring six goals - and earned a call-up to the England Under-19 squad.
He was strongly tipped to move to a Premier League club, after turning down a number of new QPR contract offers, and of those keeping close tabs on his performances, Fulham, were known to have made a firm bid for him. The bigger clubs linked with him also included Derby County, who offered £5.75 million for Jones and left-winger Lee Cook (who has since left for Fulham).
However, Jones, apparently influenced by the QPR view that he would develop more quickly in their first team than in reserve team football elsewhere, signed a new three-and a-half-year agreement with them in January. He had not played this season because of a foot injury.
Despite yesterday's postponement, Burnley held an open training session at Turf Moor at 3pm as a mark of respect to Jones. Though the session was free to all supporters, there were collection points inside the ground for fans to make a donation to a nominated charity of QPR's choice. QPR, in a statement on their website, said: 'Everyone at Queens Park Rangers extends their deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Ray at this sad time. The club will be making no further comment at this stage and we ask you to respect our wishes as we grieve for our young striker.'
Jones' death is the second tragedy to hit QPR recently. Last year their 15-year-old youth team player Kiyan Prince was stabbed to death outside his school. Observer


Very Nice Profile of Ray Jones & His Pre-QPR Days

Thursday, November 23, 2006 - Ilford Recorder/Luke Wilson -Profiles Ray Jones
"...[Ray Jones] hails just a stone's throw from Upton Park. Born and raised in East Ham,....
It has been a meteoric rise for the former Langdon School pupil who just 18 months ago was playing Sunday League football for Redwood FC.
His talent caught the eye of QPR's youth development officer John O'Brien, who offered him a trial and the rest, as they say, is history.
"At the moment it's still sinking in that in just 18 months I've gone from playing parks football to being in the QPR first team!" Jones admitted.
"At Sunday league level my team was pretty good and we used to play against academy teams from several professional clubs and so initially playing for QPR's youth team was not much of a step up.
"However when I started training with the first team it was a massive change.
"The physical aspect was the biggest difference as I was playing against much stronger and more experienced players and it seemed to just get harder and harder.
"There's a lot of players at the club that have been there and done it and played at the highest level but they've been very encouraging to me and have helped me settle into the first team."
Things could have been a lot different for the target man, who made his Championship debut against Watford back in May, for at the age of 12 he decided to quit playing 'serious' football....
"Basically I stopped playing youth league football because I wasn't enjoying it as much as I used to," he revealed.
"I was still playing nearly every day in the playground and, without wanting to sound big-headed, I used to run past people for fun!
"However my shooting was a little all over the place and so I thought to myself 'I need to get back to playing regularly'!"
One thing that you certainly could not accuse Jones of being is 'big-headed'.
Having made his full debut for the R's at the start of the present campaign, the striker was subsequently handed his first opportunity to represent his country when he came on as a substitute in the England under-19s' clash with Holland in September.
Such moments in the limelight would have undoubtedly inflated the egos of more impressionable characters but not Jones.
His down-to-earth demeanour will certainly keep his feet on the ground along with the help of his highly supportive family, who have served as an inspiration for the young goal-getter.
"My family have all been amazing and they're just over the moon for me," he beamed. "They're all really proud of what I've achieved and they've all really supported me.
"Everyone has been over to see me play for QPR - my mum, my nan, my uncle, aunt, sister and cousins - it's been amazing."
One person who Ray is certainly indebted to is his grandma Maureen, who has watched with pride as her grandson has matured into a Championship footballer.
She, like many of his family, has been there since his humble beginnings in youth football, even making a scrapbook with her daughter (Ray's mother) of all the appearances that their boy has made in the press from a young age.
"My nan used to make all my sandwiches and wake up at the crack of dawn to take me to games," he recalled.
"She even used to make sandwiches for my team-mates and that just sums up the type of amazing person she is!
"The people on our street have all been amazing as well and when I came back home after scoring my first goal for QPR (the winner against Northampton in August), everyone was telling me that they'd just seen my goal on Sky Sports News, that was really weird!"
Jones it seems has the perfect entourage to remain focused on realising his dreams and his humility stands out when posed the question of what the future might hold for him.
"I just want to be the best player I can," he replied. "I hope that I will play at the highest level and hopefully that will be with QPR."
One thing that is for sure though is that in allowing a player like Jones, whose physical presence and eye for goal look set to make him a force to be reckoned with in the future, to escape their grasp, the Hammers may regret the fact they failed to unearth such a hidden gem. Ilford Recorder.

Guardian Blog - Guardian Unlimited January 5, 2007 - Football League Spy: 10 to watch in 2007

Ten of the best prospects outside the Premiership to keep a close eye on during the next 12 months.
Barely a day goes by without David Nugent, Gareth Bale and Freddie Eastwood being linked with a big-money move to a Premiership club. But the lower leagues are awash with talent beyond these obvious names, as our following list shows. Please feel free to add your suggestions below.
8) Ray Jones (QPR) A rare reason to be cheerful at Loftus Road this season, the young striker's scoring record - five in 14 games - still isn't the greatest. But at 18, he already stands 6ft 4in and weighs in at 14½st, and defenders across the country must be wondering how they'll handle him once he bulks out. His manager John Gregory is confident that, with a bit more experience, Jones can play at the highest level. "He could be in a position where he is ready to go into Arsenal's or Manchester United's first team at the age of 23," he admits. Guardian Blog

January 2007: Ray Jones Extends His QPR Stay Signing 3 1/2 Year Contract

Friday, January 05, 2007 QPR OFFICIAL SITE - THE REAL DEAL
QPR hot-shot Ray Jones has ended speculation about his future by signing a three and a half year contract with the R's.
The teenage front-man - who has notched six goals so far this season - today (Friday) put pen to paper on his first professional contract with the club.
Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk moments after the ink dried on a deal which ties him to the club until the summer of 2010, the 18 year-old said: "I've always stated that my intentions were to stay at QPR, so I couldn't be more delighted.
"I'm just glad it's all sorted and I can get back to doing what I love more than anything else - playing and scoring goals for Queens Park Rangers.''
Jones continued: "John Gregory has played a big part in my decision to stay here and now it's up to me to repay both him and the board for the faith they've shown in me.
"I'm here to score goals and hopefully that will go hand in hand with helping QPR progress in the Championship.''
Gaffer John Gregory also revealed his delight at the news, adding: "I'm delighted that this long term saga has finally ended on a positive note.
"The board and myself have worked tirelessly to keep Ray at Loftus Road.
"He could have moved elsewhere for more money, but he's made the choice to remain at QPR which I think is a massive compliment to everybody at this football club.
"It's a three and a half year deal and I think we'll see the best of him over the next few years. There's still a long way to go, but I believe it was crucial in his development as a player to remain at QPR.''
Chairman Gianni Paladini told www.qpr.co.uk: "It's been hard work, but it's a great day for Queens Park Rangers Football Club.
"We've given him a three and a half year contract and it signals our intentions in terms of the squad we're trying to build here.
"We've got Ray, Blackstock, Cook and Rowlands all on long term deals and the future of this football club is very bright.''
Jones joined QPR in February 2005 at the age of 16 after he was spotted playing local Sunday football in East London.
He made an immediate impact on his arrival, scoring seven goals in 15 appearances for Joe Gallen's Under-18 side and in the same year, made three appearances for the Reserves, finding the back of the net once.
His impressive displays led to a first team call-up at the end of the 2005/06 campaign, where he featured in the R's final two games of the Championship season against local rivals Watford and Champions Reading. QPR

December 21, 2006 - Skysports - JONES TO SIGN NEW QPR DEAL -By Mike McGrath, PA Sport
QPR striker Ray Jones admits it is a "buzz" to be linked with a move to the Premiership but remains confident his contract dispute at Loftus Road will be resolved next month.
The 18-year-old's current deal with the Championship club expires at the end of the season and he has been linked with a move to Fulham and Charlton when the transfer window opens next month.
But Jones, speaking at the launch of the Wickes Young Apprentice award, said: "I think by January we'll have that sorted out and I'll just concentrate on my football.
"It's flattering to get linked with clubs in the Premiership, it's a big buzz, but I'm at QPR and do what I'm doing at the moment for QPR, whatever happens in the future will happen."
Jones has scored five goals this season and has made an impression with his frame causing defenders problems, despite QPR struggling at the wrong end of the Championship.
"I've got a few goals this season and want to get a few more," Jones added.
Veteran QPR striker Kevin Gallen, who was also at the launch of the Wickes Young Apprentice award, believes it is important for the club to secure Jones' signature.
"Ray's a good player and we need to keep our good players at the club and not give them away, so it's important he signs," said Gallen.
"First and foremost we need to get out of trouble then we can bring more young players through - Sporting Life

June 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007

QPR Announce Rejected Colchester's Jones Bid

The Club have rejected a £200,000 offer from Colchester United for teenage striker Ray Jones.
The R's received a formal offer from the U's this morning for the 19 year-old's services, but Chairman Gianni Paldini was quick to rebuff the approach.
Commenting on the derisory bid, Paladini said: "There's no way we're going to sell our best players unless the price is right and Ray Jones has a very big part to play in our future.'' QPR

June 2007 - QPR Reject Increased Colchester Bid for Ray Jones
Tuesday, June 19, 2007 - QPR Official Site - NO DEAL!

The Club have today (Tuesday) rejected an improved six figure offer from Colchester United for teenage hot-shot Ray Jones.
Rangers Chairman Gianni Paladini knocked back an initial £200,000 offer from the Layer Road outfit yesterday morning and has also rebuffed the U's improved offer, made at lunchtime today.
Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, Paladini reiterated his desire to keep his best players at Loftus Road: "Unless the price is right, we won't be selling our best players.
"We've rejected offers for a few of our players in the last 24 hours and I'll say it again, we're not willing to let our best players leave the Club on the cheap.''
Paladini continued: "We're building for the future here and that means keeping our best players.
"Ray has a very bright career ahead of him and he's an integral part of our first team squad.'' QPR

Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Ray Jones (& Loanee Mancienne) Back in the England U-19 Squad
The FA.Com England U19 v Switzerland
International U19 Friendly
7.30pm, 14 November 2006 Gresty Road, Crewe Alexandra FC
Brian Eastick has confirmed his 18-man squad to take on Switzerland on 14 November, with the core of the team remaining from their recent trip to Austria for the UEFA Preparatory Tournament.
Liverpool's FA Youth Cup winning trio of Paul Anderson and Craig Lindfield, who scored three goals between them against Austria, and Adam Hammill retain their places as does Derby County's Giles Barnes.
Queen's Park Rangers' forward Ray Jones also returns to the squad after missing the visit to Austria through injury and Eastick is keen to take another look at many of the players who accquited themselves well against Spain and Italy.
...Ray Jones Queens Park Rangers 18 28.08.1988
.....Michael Mancienne Chelsea (on loan to QPR ) 18 08.01.1988....

QPR's First Win last Season Versus Southend - Reports/Comments

John Gregory's First Game As Manager
September 2006 - BBC - QPR 2-0 Hull
John Gregory's reign as QPR boss got off to a winning start as goals from Ray Jones and Dexter Blackstock earned a deserved win over struggling Hull.
Hull were under pressure, but could have led but for QPR keeper Paul Jones' fine save from Michael Turner's header.
Rangers broke through on the hour as Jones tapped in his first league goal after being set up by Damion Stewart.
And Blackstock sealed the victory as he headed home after Lee Cook supplied a superb curling cross. BBC

QPR's following Win at Southampton- Reports/Comments

From yesterday:<

Expressions of Condolences

Initial Reports re Jones RIP

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