Portsmouth mourn the loss of former director and seminal non-league figure Ray Stainton
Former Pompey chairman Iain McInnes has led the tributes to Ray Stainton, following his death at the age of 77.
The former Blues commercial director, general manager and seminal figure on the non-league circuit has died following a short illness.
Stainton will be remembered for his association with the likes of Waterlooville, Gosport and his leading role in the formation of Havant and Waterlooville in a lifetime dedicated to sport.
He also worked at Pompey under owner Jim Gregory in the late 80s and early 90s, where he played his part in bringing in the likes of hall of fame striker Guy Whittingham and managing great Jim Smith to Fratton Park.
Stainton was a regular figure in the Fratton Park boardroom through the period of community ownership and linked up with McInnes as CEO at Privett Park in 2017.
A passionate sports fan, the man who lived in Boarhunt in later years was also captain of Cams Hall Estate golf club and a keen Hampshire cricket member.
McInnes told how Stainton’s death is a huge loss to sport across our communities.
He said: ‘It’s a sad day.
‘Ray was a great servant to local football and a family man. They don’t make them like Ray anymore.
‘He was a character and there’s been a lot of former Pompey players who’ve rallied around him in recent days.
‘Jim Gregory was a pugnacious man and not the easiest to get on with, but Ray managed to do that. He had a real powerful and demanding owner but did a decent job.
‘Then he went to Havant and Waterlooville and was responsible for putting them together.
‘We met at Havant six years or so ago and he was almost my shadow at Pompey home and away games. It was a way to pay him back for the good work he did.
‘We need more characters like Ray involved in football.
‘He had a good sense of humour and was a good friend. I’ll miss him greatly.’
Stainton’s son, Craig, told of the overwhelming support his family has received which has provided comfort for them and his mother, Denise.
He said: ‘We’ve had support from a lot of ex-Pompey players and a lot of clubs - not just the ones dad was at.
‘It’s been really touching to have loads of messages from supporters, who know what he did.
‘It’s been emotional hearing and reading those but that’s really been fantastic.
‘Dad was very organised and it was how he would’ve wanted things to be. He had his family around him and wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
‘My mum would like to pass on her thanks for all the support we’ve received.’