Tributes to busker Ray who has died after losing his battle with cancer

Popular Mansfield busker Ray Froggatt, who has  died after losing his battle with cancer.
Popular Mansfield busker Ray Froggatt, who has died after losing his battle with cancer.

Tributes have been paid to a much loved Mansfield busker who has died after losing his battle with cancer.

Ray Froggatt who entertained generations in the town centre for more than 30 years, passed away at King’s Mill Hospital on Monday February 1.

A whole community rallied round after Ray, 57 was diagnosed with terminal cancer last summer and given just months to live.

Floral tributes have been left outside WH Smiths where he used to busk.

Ray leaves behind his partner Julie Davis who said: “I want to thank all the sell-wishers and people from the town who have been wonderful all the way back to when Ray’s illness became known.

“It is unbelievable what people can do when they get together.

“Ray was absolutely stunned how many people turned up at his benefit gig and he should feel proud about how many people out there do care about him and I am sure he would have liked to thank each and every one of them.

“Ray was a happy type of person who liked to help out if he could. He loved to go out walking with the dog and myself.

“When he packed in playing he really missed a lot of people in town. I miss him so much.”

His friend Alan Walker said ”Ray was a legend in Mansfield - he was probably the most recognised man in the town.

“The town has lost one of its characters. He will be sadly missed.”

Another friend, Mansfield musician and entertainer Jimmy Carrol said: “For the last 30 odd years Ray busked away and lived off what he earned and never claimed benefits.

“It wasn’t until he couldn’t move his hands any more and couldn’t play that he stopped.

“He found out he had a brain tumour.

“Ray was a very humble and genuine person and softly spoken. He very rarely finished a song as he would chat with anyone who spoke to him. He was a lovely man and that’s why everyone got behind him when they found out about his illness.”

Hundreds of people attended when friends and musicians from the town rallied round to organise a fundraising music day at the Star Mansfield Woodhouse in September.

Landlady of the Star Janice Shaw said: “He was a lovely person and he will be sadly missed.”

Ray was born in Winnipeg Canada and came to the UK with his family in 1969.

He first started playing guitar when he was seven and attended Sherwood Hall School.

A date has yet to be arranged for his funeral.