Londonist was deeply shocked and saddened at the weekend when we learned of the death of promising Queens Park Rangers striker Ray Jones. Tomorrow would have been his nineteenth birthday, but just after midnight on Saturday morning a car he was travelling in collided with a double decker bus in East Ham and Jones, along with two of the four other occupants of the vehicle, Idris Olasupo and Jess Basilva, died from their injuries. Of the two survivors, one has left hospital, but the other is reported as still being in a serious condition.
We witnessed Ray appear as a substitute against Leeds on August 10th last year when the power and presence of the six foot four frontman, rumoured at that time to be interesting Liverpool, created several late chances. Injury prevented him from adding this season to his career total of six goals from 37 first team appearances, but last season’s exciting performances had earned him his first full professional contract as well as England Under 19 recognition and many Rangers fans were looking forward eagerly to his contribution to their Championship campaign.
A fan has posted a tribute to Ray’s talent on YouTube, featuring a goal against Cardiff City who this weekend allowed a QPR fan to lay a pennant on the spot where Jones slid the ball home to steer Rangers to victory. The highlight of the video has to be Jones’s deft dispossession of Southampton goalkeeper Kelvin Davies on the way to stroking the ball into an empty net.
Saturday’s scheduled opponents Burnley showed gracious generosity in not only postponing their fixture, but holding in its place an open training session at which a collection was taken for a charity to be nominated by Rangers. Tributes from far and wide are appearing on supporter websites such as Loft for Words and QPRnet. Londonist’s thoughts are with the families and loved ones of all those involved in this tragedy as well as with Ray’s club and its supporters as they all mourn their loss.