Ray Downie joined Canterbury in 1977 as a second row forward and was a regular member of the Under 23 team. Ray spent the next two years attending Goulburn Teaching College as part of the club's Sporting Scholarship scheme.
Ray returned in 1981 to become a regular member of the reserve grade team and received the opportunity to play first grade as a replacement. Ray played in the reserve grade Preliminary Semi-Final against St George.
In 1982, Ray was a regular member of the reserve grade team and after playing Under 23s mid-season, returned from injury to finish the season in first grade.
In 1983, Ray joined Newtown to play 14 first grade games. In 1984, Ray joined Cronulla to play two further games.