Tranmere Rovers have today announced the signing of central defender George Ray, who becomes Micky Mellon’s first summer recruit at Prenton Park.
Ray, 25, arrives on the Wirral having spent over a decade at Crewe Alexandra, as a youth team player and senior professional, as Tranmere continue their preparations for the upcoming Sky Bet League One season.
Get to know Ray better by reading through 10 facts about TRFC’s new man.
1) Born in Warrington on 13th October 1993, Ray joined Crewe Alexandra’s youth system from an early age whilst still at school.
2) After coming through the successful Crewe academy, Ray signed his first professional forms at Gresty Road in 2011 before going to spend time on loan with Staffordshire-based Leek Town in 2012.
3) Ray holds the unique record of being the first player to make his professional debut in a Wembley Stadium Cup Final, coming on as a last-minute substitute as Crewe beat Southend United 2-0 to win the Football League Trophy in April 2013.
4) The 2014/15 campaign, where Crewe competed at Sky Bet League One level, was to be Ray’s breakthrough season. He made 35 appearances, scoring his first goal for the Alex against local rivals Port Vale, before adding a second to his tally against Doncaster Rovers as the club finished 20th in the third-tier.
5) Following his emergence as a first-team regular, Ray would become a key member of Crewe’s side, and he was appointed as the club’s captain by manager David Artell in 2017.
6) In his eight-years as a professional at Crewe Alexandra, Ray turned out 137 times in the heart of the club’s backline.
7) Ray has twice been involved in lining up for a Crewe starting XI picked from their academy graduates – firstly in a 2-0 home victory over Walsall in April 2013 under former manager Steve Davis before Artell repeated the feat in May 2018 in a 2-1 win over Cheltenham Town at Gresty Road.
8) The 2018/19 term, which was his final season in a Crewe shirt, Ray made 36 appearances in all competitions for the Railwaymen.
9) Despite being born in England, Ray’s eligibility to represent Wales saw him earn five caps for the country at U21 level following on from his first call-up in March 2014 aged 19.
10) Ray started against TRFC for Crewe back in March when the two sides met in Sky Bet League Two, with Rovers coming out on top 1-0 under the Prenton Park floodlights on a Friday night.