Eddie Parris

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John Edward ("Eddie" or "Ted") Parris (31 January 1911 – 1971) was a Welsh international footballer, who played for Bradford Park Avenue, AFC Bournemouth, Luton Town, Bath City, Northampton Town and Cheltenham Town. He was the first black player to represent Wales in an international.

Life[edit]

He was born at Pwllmeyric, Chepstow, Monmouthshire, Wales, to a white mother and black father[1] who were both born in Canada.[2] He played for Chepstow Town F.C. before his talents were spotted by scouts for Bradford Park Avenue A.F.C., at the time a leading club, and he was signed as a trialist in 1928. He made his debut in January 1929, scoring his team's only goal in a drawn F.A. Cup match against Hull, and thereafter established a regular first-team place at left wing. In his career at Bradford Park Avenue, he played 142 League and Cup games and scored 39 goals.

In December 1931 Parris made his first and only appearance for Wales against Ireland in Belfast, becoming the first black player to represent Wales in an international. Although sometimes cited as the first black player to play for any of the 'home countries', research now suggests that in fact the first was the Scotland player Andrew Watson.

Parris suffered an injury in 1934, and later played for Bournemouth (1934–37), Luton, Northampton, Bath City, Cheltenham Town and Gloucester City. He later worked in a munitions factory and an aeroplane factory. He lived at Sedbury near Chepstow,[3] and died in Gloucestershire, England in 1971.[1][4]

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