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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