Friends, former colleagues and relatives will gather at the Artichoke, Croxley Green today to remember Ray ‘Andy’ Anderson who passed away earlier this summer. He was 83.

The former captain of Rickmansworth Golf Club and stalwart full back for Tudor Corinthians in their heyday, Ray battled Covid, pneumonia and allied infections for nine months before finally succumbing.

Born and raised in Croxley Green, he attended Bushey Grammar School before studying art and design at the then Watford Technical College in Hempstead Road.

He never lost his love of Croxley and played football for Tudors for several success-filled season, when the club was a force locally, and in the county, before moving on to become an avid golfer at Rickmansworth. There he won trophies and became a committee member and subsequently club captain.

His skills as an artist and his conceptual perceptions enabled him to become art director at a succession of big London advertising agencies, at one stage, focussing on the famed Pirelli calendars, undertaking some location work in South Africa.

Former colleague Julian de Havilland, who hails from Watford, recalled Ray came up with the idea of a succession of adverts involving Frankie Howerd in a series of roles.

“It was a very funny and enjoyable shoot. A real highlight,” he remembered. “From memory, I think he took part in another with Benny Hill.”

Ray never married but remained in touch with former girlfriends who he remembered fondly.

Former Watford Observer assistant editor Oli Phillips recalls meeting up with Ray three or four times a year for lunch when paying a visit from his home in France.

He said: “We would meet at the Artichoke many times over the last 15 years, and he would invariably and proudly show me a photo of an ex-girlfriend or a team photo from the 1950s and challenge me to identify them.

“He was talented, creative and extremely good company: quick-witted and genuinely humorous. I know a number of people held his friendship dear. I will certainly miss him.”

His niece Marion acknowledged: “I was able to visit him during his time in a care-home and he never lost his sense of humour.”

Ray was admitted to hospital late last year, briefly returning to his home in Chalmers Court, Rickmansworth, before succumbing after a nine-month, but ultimately unsuccessful battle.