Ray Hiron - Local boy came good
Posted on 31st May 2023 by David Taylor
Ray Hiron passed away on 5 April 2020 at the age of 76. Despite that being during the height of the Covid19 pandemic his death was the front page story in the News such was his popularity.
Born Raymond Michael Charles Hiron on 22 July 1943 in Gosport the centre-forward struck 117 goals in 364 appearances during his 11 years on the south coast.
He was spotted playing for Fareham Town and also worked in the city’s dockyard. Having just finished his apprenticeship at the Dockyard he hitched a lift on a friend’s motorbike in April 1964 to pen professional terms for boss George Smith at Fratton Park during his lunch break.
With just two reserve outings behind him, Hiron was handed his senior debut in a 1-1 Division Two draw at Bury in September 1964. His first goal was in s 1-1 draw with Leyton Orient at Fratton Park when he headed home a John McClelland cross. Linesman was impressed in his Football Mail report saying although Hiron is still raw, he showed razor sharp positional sense making the goal look easy - see Football Mail below. His second goal was at the Dell in a 2-2 draw with Southampton.
The towering target-man was a constant nuisance to opposition defences and once hit four goals in a 5-2 victory over Norwich at Fratton Park. This Plum cartoon remembers a hat-trick against Charlton in January 1970.
Despite his height Charlie – as nicknamed by boss Smith – was very skilful with his feet. An example of this was the run around he gave Scottish International Ian Ure in a League cup tie at Old Trafford in October 1970. I also remember one mazy dribble against Middlesbrough when after beating so many defenders Ray seemed surprised when all he needed to do was roll the ball into an empty Fratton End net!
He brought up a century of league goals for the Blues by diving full length to head home Ken Foggo’s cross against Nottingham Forest in February 1973.
Hiron was awarded a testimonial against Southampton in 1975, fittingly scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over Pompey’s south coast rivals.
When the Pompey Hall of Fame was set up in 2009 Ray was an inaugural inductee.
He left to sign for Reading in the summer of 1975, spending three years with the Royals and perhaps surprisingly played a number of games at Elm Park as a defender. After his professional career ended, Hiron returned to Fareham Town.He scored seven times in the 1978/79 season, which saw the Reds finish second in the Hampshire League behind Newport
When he retired Ray spent some time running the Young Blues scheme at Fratton Park and later working as a manager at the Mountbatten Centre.
Details of Ray's career can be found here pompeyrama.com/pompey-fc-players-227-Ray-Hiron.html