Ray Wyatt (Mark Moraghan) 1999-2001

First Regular Appearance: 3.9 (#149)  Tuesday 19th October 1999

Last Regular Appearance: 4.26 (#228)  Sunday 15th April 2001

Duration: EP: 149 - 228 ½ SE: 3.9 – 4.26

Position: Assistant Manager (1999-2000) / Manager (2000-2001)

Last Seen: In the Players’ Lounge after his last match in charge, speaking to a subdued Lynda minutes after she’d killed Prash!

 

Born and raised in Liverpool, Ray stayed loyal to his local roots and the club that meant so much to him. In the early 80's, Ray committed himself to making it at Everton, his game as a strong, clear-minded Midfielder were characteristics he carried through his career to his management days. His career playing was over in 1988, at only 27 due to a severe injury. Determined to stay on in professional football, Ray obtained his coaching badges, and in the mid 90’s enjoyed his most successful stint at Monaco, coaching imminent Latin and European superstars Luis Amor Rodriquez and Didier Baptiste.

 

By 1999 Ray had opted for a life outside of football, and was living quietly on his Devon farm with wife Kitty, who was about to give birth to their son. Ray is surprised when his old friend Luis, now manager of Harchester United, turns up with an unexpected offer. He wants Ray to be his assistant, and bring his knowledge and experience to the club which is drifting following the recent plane crash. Unsure of returning to football and leaving Kitty behind at the farm, Ray agrees a temporary stint. Once at the club, Ray is a trusted figurehead for the lads; mentoring Wes Kingsley on improving his ability and persuading Scott Lucas to see a therapist in order to cure his childhood demons. The arrival of Didier Baptiste is a proud moment for Ray, as the two have an adopted father-son relationship. But it also signals the end of club captain Michael Dillon at the club, which Ray tries to soften the bitter situation by helping Michael find a new club.

 

Whilst recovering abroad following an injury, Luis' role is substituted by Jerry's old chum Gordon Gallagher. Gordon wastes no time selling stories to the press, including how Ray took Kitty away from a life in prostitution when they first met. Ray is furious that his wife, with a newborn son are being targeted. When Gordon is exposed, Ray finds himself in charge of the team at a pivotal point as a relegation battle looms. A half-hearted decision to leave Luis on the bench strains their friendship, and pushes Luis into committing his future to Boca Juniors. However, Ray does secure Karl Fletcher’s resigning, and the squad is strong enough to avoid relegation. With his workload as manager, Ray doesn’t realise the seriousness of Didier’s money troubles, to the point where Prashant Dattani bribes “Didi” to cause Harchester’s relegation. Ray finds it hard to forgive Didier for shaming the game, and the loss of Ray’s support pushes Didier towards taking an overdose. Ray saves him, but Didier is no longer welcome at Harchester and is sold to Marseille.

 

With the team struggling, Ray faces a media backlash with calls for him to be fired. At this same time, Kitty takes William to Thailand to see her dying father one last time, leaving Ray to face his troubles on his own. With no reason to spend Christmas alone in Harchester, Ray travels to France accompanied by Lynda, to approach PSG striker Monday Bandele. They get sidelined by the missing of their respective partners, and having too much to drink, spend the night together. Ray is regretful and tells Lynda he will not jeopardise things with Kitty. It comes back to haunt them a short time later when Lynda discovers she is carrying Ray’s baby. Ray knows he now has to come clean to Kitty, who is deeply hurt when she finds out, but comes to agree that he must take responsibility for his child.

 

With the success of Monday’s signing, Harchester are on course to qualify for the Champions League. Dattani has the club in his sights, which requires forcing Lynda out. Already under the weight of her job and her pregnancy, the pressure from Prash spirals into Lynda suffering a miscarriage. Knowing Prash is responsible for the death of his and Lynda’s child, Ray resigns - before threatening to put Prash through the boardroom window! The team persuade Ray to give them his guidance for the last game of the season, and they secure their place in the Champions League with a top three finish.

 

After the match, Prash is found dead in his office, having been bludgeoned to death. Ray is required to stick around in Harchester longer than he had hoped, until he is eliminated as a suspect, and is able to join Bordeaux as their new manager.