TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular businessman dubbed "Mr Wrexham" for his unshakable belief in the future of the town.

Bob Gray died on Friday, aged 89, following a long illness.

He grew up in the town and developed a keen interest in business from a young age; selling sticks and running errands for American Soldiers based in the town.

At the age of 14, he left school and was to take his first steps to become a bricklayer.

His son Dave, 47, said: "He was a bricklayer for a day - what happened was, an electrician came to the site and he was amazed by the fact they can pull a cable in and have the kettle boiling, because he'd come from a poor house with just gas.

"He was so fascinated by it that when they sent him to the shop he never came back. He went straight to the electrician's and asked to become an apprentice with them.

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"Then he did his national service with the RAF but every time he had leave or a weekend off, he'd come back to Wrexham because he was involved in the Grove Park Theatre.

"He was part of the original build crew for the theatre as it is now."

Bob completed his electrical training in the RAF and went on to open an electrical business, which he initially ran from his house in Rhosrobin and then from a warehouse.

The business, Gray's Electrical Services, ran for around 50 years.

During his time in the town Bob became the honorary vice president of the RAFA club, he became a Rotary member and earned a gold Rotary badge and he helped to support numerous charities.

Dave continued: "He was a one off - he used to give talks to both schools and local groups about mysterious antiques, and he did a lot around World War II.

The Leader: Dave GrayDave Gray

"He was also the original installer and maintainer of the football club lights - so he used to be up and down the towers changing the bulbs and keeping the lights going.

"He also loved marquee work; and that led him to wiring up the marquees at Coronation Street for the 25 year anniversary."

Describing his dad's character, Dave continued: "He really could talk to anyone. He was that type of guy.


"The history of the town was a real love of his. He was on the Friends of Wrexham Museum committee and he could tell you what was in any shop going back five, six, seven generations.

"He tried to maintain the memories of things people had told him."

Dave said his dad also travelled around the world in search of new ideas to continue developing Wrexham.

At some point, he became known to people in the town as "Mr Wrexham."

Dave said: "Even in retirement, he'd be in town every single day - seeing what's happening, what's changing, talking to people.

"He loved Wrexham, it was his true love in the sense that he thought it was the best place in the world, and he was very grateful for every opportunity the town gave him."

Bob Gray also leaves behind his wife Ann, aged 85.