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Keeping it familiar – Ray’s story

Keeping it familiar – Ray’s story

An ex-West Bromwich Albion footballer, Ray lives at Perry Manor care home in Worcester and regularly visits the nearby Malvern Hills with his daughter.

Ray Perry was born in Smethwick in 1933, where he grew up with his mum and dad, one brother and four sisters. Ray has always enjoyed football and is a lifelong supporter of West Bromwich Albion. 

He attended Crocketts Lane School in Smethwick and went on to have an apprenticeship at Birmal Casting, training to be a pattern maker for Jaguar and Rolls Royce.  During his time as an apprentice he also played amateur football for Wolverhampton Wanderers, until he was called up for national service, which ran from 1953 to 1955. 

Ray married his first wife, Edith, in 1953 and they had three children: Annette, Andrew and Clive. Ray now has nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Sadly Edith died after 35 happy years of marriage in 1989. This included many happy holidays enjoying the outdoors at their caravan in Malvern.

Later Ray met Jill, his wife today, in Malvern. They set up home in a cottage in Hanley Castle, a village which overlooks the beautiful Malvern Hills in Worcestershire. They joined rambling groups and also enjoyed cycling all around Worcester, Malvern and Upton-on-Severn. 

Ray was diagnosed with dementia in 2007 and he moved to his new home at Perry Manor in Worcester in October 2014. His daughter Annette regularly visits to spend the day with her father.  Annette explained why taking a trip out is so important for Ray:

“When I visit Dad, I will often drive us out to the Malvern Hills and Upton-upon-Severn.  It’s such a beautiful place, which is full of so many wonderful family memories.  It’s a landscape that’s familiar to Dad – it is home in every sense of the word to him.  It’s a lovely way for us to spend quality time together and I do believe it’s beneficial for Dad to get out and about; to soak up the scenery and to be in an environment which has so many happy associations for our family.

“Being outdoors is important for Dad, and he ventures out almost every day either with his family or a carer at the home. Dad loves kicking a ball around in the gardens at Perry Manor and we all still see flashes of that flair from his earlier footballing days – he often gives many of the care team a run for their money!   

“When he wants to take things a little easier, he loves watching football and other sports on the television, and he also enjoys a game of dominoes, indoor bowls, pool and table tennis; but adapting Dad’s long-standing passion for football and encouraging him to still have an interest in this hobby has been really important to him – not just when it comes to settling into Perry Manor, but to maintaining a sense of his identity and his independence – and it has therefore been vital to his wellbeing.”

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