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Long-serving goalie Gray set to retire from Raiders at the end of the current campaign

PUBLISHED: 09:29 25 February 2020

Michael Gray was back in goal for Raiders against Swindon (pic John Scott)

Michael Gray was back in goal for Raiders against Swindon (pic John Scott)

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Record-breaking goalie Michael Gray is retiring at the end of the season following 10 years of service at Everyone Active Raiders.

Raiders goalie Michael Gray receives his players' player of the year award from Tom DavisRaiders goalie Michael Gray receives his players' player of the year award from Tom Davis

The 30-year-old has decided now feels like the right time to call time on his career despite revealing he knows he will miss the club dearly once he stops playing.

"10 years at the club has been an amazing time and it feels like another family to me, I know I've had some amazing times and some very difficult times, but that happens in every family," Gray admitted.

"This club means so much to me, its very hard to describe it and I will have times where I feel empty that I'm not part of it in the future."

Before adding: "It's really hard as a player as when is the right time to step away as I feel like I've played the best hockey I've played over the last couple of years but a number of things have made me decide this.

Michael Gray won several man of the match awards for Raiders last seasonMichael Gray won several man of the match awards for Raiders last season

"Work is crazy and I want to do things with my lovely new wife Emma who has always supported me and pushed me to play for the raiders as Emma loves the raiders.

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"I also believe Emma wants me to carry on playing so she still gets weekends without me," he joked.

The shot-stopper has broken records for his appearances, time played, shot faced, and just about every record a goalie can possibly break during his time at the Raiders.

Raiders goalie Michael GrayRaiders goalie Michael Gray

"The records mean a lot to me as when I started playing for Romford I didn't even dream of anything like that, but records are always there to be broke so I hope someone coming through can break them."

Gray also revealed he has too many good memories wearing the gold and blue to pick them all out but did tease a few from during his time at the club.

"I've had so many great memories with this club to name them all would take forever but winning the league in the old Rom Valley Way was amazing, moving to the new rink after the tough times was such a relief, beating teams like Swindon and Telford in their own barns are some memories I won't forget.

"Being named players player two years back to back is another one and playing in front of all the Raiders fans every week has to be up there.

Raiders netminder Michael Gray in action (Pic: John Scott)Raiders netminder Michael Gray in action (Pic: John Scott)

"There are too many memories to remember, but some of the best ones are the people I've met through the club who have become like family members to me."

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