Tributes pour in for ex-Red Parker
By Dan Shires, Evening Leader
TRIBUTES have been paid to former Wrexham footballer Albert Parker, who has died aged 78.
Parker played his first game for Wrexham in November 1951 against Darlington, who were, coincidentally, the Reds' opponents on Saturday.
He began his football career as a schoolboy at Everton before joining the now defunct South Liverpool club.
After the Second World War, he played for Crewe Alexandra, making 111 appearances for the Railwaymen before signing for Wrexham in 1951.
He gave the club eight loyal years of service playing at full-back alongside his good friend, Aly McGowan.
He made 248 appearances for Wrexham, but only scored one goal in that time.
Parker left the club for Holywell Town in 1959, but later returned to the Racecourse as groundsman.
He also took up refereeing and worked for Wrexham as a gateman.
Alan Fox, who played alongside Parker for the Reds, recalled: "He was a nice gentleman off the field and a tough tackier on it.
"He was a lovely clean-kicker of the ball and a very neat player.
"I remember looking up to him and thought a great deal of him."
Former Wrexham player and manager Arfon Griffiths said: "He always had a smile for people because he was a typical Scouser.
"I know he loved the area of Wrexham and he always had a joke to tell.
"In the past, a lot of players who joined a club would move to the area and then stay there - not nowadays, because a lot tend to travel to their club.
"Albert stayed in the area and continued to work at the club in different roles after he had retired."
Carroll Clark, chairman of the official Wrexham Supporters' Club, remembered watching Parker play in the 1950s.
He said: "He and Aly McGowan were a strong partnership together.
"They were great friends and I'm sure they were always the first players on the manager's team-sheet.
"I knew Albert quite well and I'll always remember watching him play from the Kop."
Geraint Parry, football secretary at Wrexham, said Parker had been very well liked at the club.
He said: "He was a turnstile operator after he retired and was very committed to the club.
"Well certainly remember him as somebody who put a lot of time into the club, which you don't get so much any more."