CELEBRATIONS were in order when friends and colleagues turned out for Ray Lill’s 60th birthday recently.
The surprise party, at North Solihull Sports Centre, was organised by his daughter, Alison Fox, who felt he deserved some real recognition for his work within the community.
The father-of-three has worked at the sports centre – also widely known as Chelmsley Wood Swimming Baths – for over 30 years now, starting from the day it opened. Working his way up from a lifeguard to duty manager, Ray now lives in Polesworth, but is still extremely well-known around the Chelmsley Wood area.
Daughter Alison said: “It was a great day – he was so surprised. It was really fitting for a man who has given the local communities and families so much of his time over the years.”
He is best recognised for being the founding member of the centre’s ‘Nifty Fifties’ club, which has been running for 16 years, and encourages the Over-50s to get active, organising activities such as Tai Chi, Badminton, and even trips abroad.
The club has become hugely popular and attracted many members, some of whom attended the party to wish Ray a happy birthday.
Ray also showed his generosity back in 2000 when he won a large sum of money on the National Lottery, and treated the staff and members of the centre to a big party to share his win with them.