TRIBUTES have continued to pour in for a beloved member of the Isle of Wight community who died earlier this month.

Ray Scovell died on January 19 at the age of 76 shortly after testing positive for coronavirus in Wellow Ward at St. Mary’s Hospital.

He had been in hospital for a non Covid-related illness, but contracted the virus while there.

Ray was born on March 26, 1944 in Northwood and moved to Avenue Road in Sandown at the age of four, where he lived seven doors away from Rosemary, who would later become his wife.

He attended Sandown Secondary Modern, before joining the Royal Navy at 15.

Isle of Wight County Press: Tributes have been pouring in since the death of Ray Scovell earlier this month

At 21 he developed rheumatic fever and was hospitalised. As a result he suffered with heart issues and had to leave the Navy.

He married Rosemary at Sandown Methodist Church on February 6, 1971, and the couple had one daughter, Claire.

Ray built scenery for South Wight Youth Theatre for the shows Claire was in at Sandown Pavilion Theatre.

The pair shared a close bond, becoming leaders with 1st Lake Cubs, while also enjoying fishing with Sandown and Shanklin Angling Society.

Ray became involved with athletics when asked to help future British champion, Andy Frost, learn the shot putt for a school sports day.

From there Ray continued to grow and develop athletics on the Island for people of all ages and abilities. He loved coaching with the Isle of Wight Athletic Club and set up regular events.

For many years Ray, alongside Claire, would go into schools to teach athletics and help with sports leadership, during which time he became the Athletic Development Officer for the IW Sports Unit.

'A true legend' - tributes to Isle of Wight sport's Ray Scovell

He was involved with the Island team for the World Youth Games and the athletic team for the Island Games, and in 2011 was in charge of the athletics for the Island Games held on these shores.

Ray was a devoted family man. His grandson, Simon, born in 2006, was the apple of his eye.

He expressed his pride at watching Simon on stage performing, and they could regularly be spotted playing golf together at Brown's in Sandown.

Isle of Wight County Press:

On Janaury 23, Dylan Northard joined the #RunForRay - spelling out his name as he went. Scroll through more pictures and tributes above.

Even during his final year, Ray would endeavour to help those in need — shopping for elderly people and offering his assistance whenever possible.

He loved walking along Sandown seafront with Rosemary and fishing with his best friend, Steve Duff, who he had known for more than 50 years.

Ray loved his vegetable patch, cooking, and meeting with close friends for a Chinese meal. His tomato relish will live on with those who experienced it.

He lived by the mantra: 'invest in the youngsters, they are our future' and was always happy to share his wisdom with young people to help them reach their potential.

As well as leaving his treasured family of Rosemary, Claire and Simon, Ray bequeaths a legacy in which he played a pivotal role in the lives of many people across the Island.

He will be sadly missed.

UPDATE February 4: 

Cllr George Cameron, chairman of the Isle of Wight Council, has paid tribute to former council officer Ray Scovell, who died on 19 January:

Ray Scovell was a man known and loved for his dedication and commitment to Island sport, especially athletics where he coached and volunteered at the IW Athletics Club for nearly 30 years.

There was no job Ray did not shy away from, event organiser, groundsman, maintenance man, travel coordinator, he did it all. 

Ray was pivotal in growing the sport during this period and was hugely influential in developing new initiatives.

With Ray fully engaged in the club and the track facility, the club soon became one of the largest in the south, which in turn resulted in many Isle of Wight athletes securing county, national and international accolades. 

The council was fortunate to attract Ray to join the Sports Development Unit on a part time basis in the late 1990s and Ray's inspirational character was a driving force in establishing successful projects to motivate Island people young and old into sport and physical activity. 

Ray was key in the organisation of the 2011 Natwest Island Games athletics event, and the legacy programmes that supported that event.

During Ray’s years with the council, he was instrumental in the success of both the Primary School Island Games and the World Island Youth Games, where thousands of young people were given memories of a lifetime.  

In Ray’s latter years he turned his volunteering to creating the hugely popular Park Run – which started eight years ago with just 30 runners and grew to a staggering 300 participants a week.  

Ray worked tirelessly for the sports he loved, both for the council and as a volunteer.

As well as being a truly inspirational member of the Island’s community, he was a much-valued council officer, and will be sadly missed by his many friends and former colleagues across the Isle of Wight council.