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Raymond Gordon Stokes
21 May 1924 - 26 February 2017
Regarded by the legendary Jack Dyer as the best centreman he saw, Ray Stokes served Tasmanian Sport as one of its great all-rounders. He first represented Tasmania as a schoolboy footballer and his talents took him to the strong Richmond (VFL) Club where he played 93 games from 1946-1951.
Returning to captain/coach Burnie in 1952, Stokes brought with him a reputation as a tough but fair footballer and he won the N.W.F.U. Wander Medal in 1954 as best and fairest in the competition. A superb left foot kick, Stokes was selected to play for Tasmania on seven occasions including two carnival series 1953 and 1956 where he acquitted himself with distinction.
Stokes was a fitness fanatic and his natural sporting talents saw him playing cricket in the summer months. He played first with South Burnie and then coached Wynyard for one year before joining the Burnie District Cricket Club where he enjoyed most of his success. Ray topped the N.W.T.C.A. batting averages on 10 occasions from 1952/53 to 1966/67.
These performances led to state selection, where in pre-Sheffield Shield days, representative matches were very sparse. His record for his state in international matches as a top order batsman was outstanding:
Ray Stokes is arguably one of our greatest sporting sons.