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Ray Daniel

Personal information
Full nameWilliam Raymond Daniel

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William Raymond "Ray" Daniel (2 November 1928 6 November 1997) was a Welsh football player and manager.

Daniel was born in Swansea and started out at his local club Swansea Town as an amateur. In 1946 he was snapped up by Arsenal (whom his elder brother Bobby had played for, before he had been killed in the Second World War) aged 18. Thanks to compulsory National Service duty between 1947 and 1949, he did not make his debut for Arsenal until 7 May 1949 against Charlton Athletic, on the final day of the 1948-49 season; Arsenal won 2-0.

Daniel played at centre half but spent much of his early career at Arsenal as a reserve, as understudy to Leslie Compton; in his first three seasons as a first-team player he only played 13 League matches. Whilst still a reserve, Daniel made his debut for Wales, a 1-1 draw against England at Roker Park on 20 October 1951. He went on to win twenty-one caps for his country.

When Compton retired in 1951, Daniel became Arsenal's regular at centre-half and played in the Gunners' FA Cup final loss at the hands of Newcastle United in 1952, despite the fact he was still recovering from a broken arm. He made up the disappointment the following season, missing only one match in Arsenal's 1952-53 First Division-winning campaign. Daniel left Arsenal for Sunderland in 1953 for £27,500, then a record fee for a defender.

Daniel spent four seasons at Sunderland, and eventually became club captain. He played 136 League games for the Rokerites, before leaving for Cardiff City in October 1957. He managed only six League games before returning to his first club Swansea, where he played 45 League games and scored seven goals.

He left for Hereford United in 1960 and was later the club's player-manager for a brief period between 1962 and 1963, before resigning to allow Bob Dennison to take over. After that, he left the game completely, and later ran a post office. He died aged 69 in 1997.

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