It is with great sadness that the Grampian Games announce the sudden death of Henry (Sandy) Gray – a fine heavy athlete and respected judge .
H.A. Gray – known equally as Henry or Sandy was brought up in Donside at Leochil Cushnie at East Eninteer Farm where he still resides as the sixth generation of Grays .It was in 1949 that he was spotted competing at Tarland Show by the local Laird who gifted him a kilt which then enabled him to compete at Aboyne that year. That was some 68 years ago
At 6 feet 5 inches and 19 stone of pure muscle Sandy quickly made his mark. He was reputed to have the strongest grip in Europe. He seldom trained nor did he lift weights. He excelled in the caber and the 56ib weight for height. His greatest highlights included winning the Scottish overall heavyweight title at Crieff in 1954 and tossing the famous Braemar Caber five years in succession and winning the extra £10 prize each time. A Braemar official was prompted to say “ ye’ll hae to stop this Sandy or hae us ruined “ In addition to these he established many records throughout the country and competed abroad once when foreign trips were scarce. In 1953 he walked some 20 yards with a Dinnie stone in a challenge in the Music Hall in Aberdeen. He competed until 1974 and for 40 years was a well respected judge around the Grampian Games circuit until he retired some three years ago .. In 2006 He was presented to the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at Braemar Games when the Duke said “ you’ve been coming nearly as long as I have “ He is a special favourite of the Royalty and they always look out for him.
Sandy was a genial giant and provided the games with a tangible link with the great heavies of the past and his knowledge and judgement was also much admired by the present crop of heavies .
Published: 2017-07-23 14:50:25