The European Hockey Federation is mourning the loss of Gerry Ralph, Former President of Scottish Hockey Union and former Chairman of the EHF Development Committee of the EHF who died this morning in his hometown of Paisley, Scotland.
Gerry was a pivotal figure in the development and success of Kelburne Hockey Club. A founder member in 1969, Gerry’s guidance and commitment to the growth of the club was invaluable. He was prominent in the set up and development of the junior section and in particular the girls side. His drive and enthusiasm was an inspiration to others who found it impossible to refuse when he asked them to get involved in helping out. Gerry was given an honorary dinner by the club in 2000 in recognition of his tremendous work and achievements. It was thought appropriate at this time, as Gerry’s influence was key in taking the club forward into the 21st century in great shape. Gerry became President of SHU in 2000 and helped progress the name of Scottish Hockey within Europe, not only during his Presidency, but over the past 16 years of involvement as a Member and then Chairman of both the EHF Development Committee and Development Projects Committee.
Gerry was a family man, whose children followed in his footsteps with his love of the sport of hockey and of course the club. Gerry was very proud of his children’s involvement and achievements at Kelburne and rightly so. His contribution to the success of Kelburne Hockey Club is immeasurable, a true gentleman, he will be sorely missed by all who knew him. He leaves behind him a tremendous legacy at Kelburne and everyone at the club is deeply saddened at his passing.
The President of the EHF, Marijke Fleuren speaking on behalf of the whole European Hockey family said “I am deeply saddened to hear this morning of the death of Gerry Ralph. Gerry was devoted to the development of youth hockey all his life, both in his own club of Kelburne and later when he brought his knowledge and dedication to his work for the European Hockey Federation.
Gerry was instrumental in developing our youth leadership programmes and later was responsible for setting up our very successful Youth Panel as Chairman of our Development Projects Committee.
His softly spoken manner, kindness coupled with his leadership skills were the perfect combination to develop our incredible young leaders.
To Maria, Claire, Mark, Nicola and his much loved 6 grandchildren we pass on our deepest condolences and hope that you take come consolation in the fact that Gerry’s legacy of giving and leadership will live on in those he inspired. ”
Gerry pictured with the winners of the first EHF Youth Leadership Certificate
Anne Wotherspoon, President of SHU said “ Gerry Ralph was one of the most respected members of Scottish Hockey and was a tremendous ambassador for our sport both within Scotland and Internationally. He was passionate about hockey and that came across in my personal contact with him. He was also very wise counsel. Ours is a great family sport and Gerry embraced that within his immediate and extended family, all of whom are involved whether as players or as supporters. Gerry was a loyal Kelburne man but he gave so much to the wider hockey community, serving as one of my predecessors as SHU President and as long standing member of our International Affairs group where he kept us all informed of the work being done within the EHF through his Development Committee. The Scottish Hockey family will miss him. He was certainly one of the good guys.”
Norman Hughes, EHF, Development and Education Manager added ” Not only a good colleague and champion of the smaller nations Gerry was just a pleasure to work with. A gentle spoken but determined man he was always available to offer wise advice. EHF Development Projects Committee will miss him immensely but will always remember the massive contributions that he has made”
Funeral Arrangements: Evening reception at St Mirin’s Cathedral, Paisley, on Monday, 22nd February at 6.30pm. Funeral Mass on Tuesday, 23rd February at 10am and thereafter to Hawkhead Cemetery.