Pat Parker (footballer)
|Full name||Patrick John Parker|
|Date of birth||15 July 1929|
|Place of birth||Bow, Devon, England|
|Date of death||28 January 2014(aged 84)|
|Place of death||Southampton, England|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Playing position||Centre half|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Parker was born in Bow, Devon and after his national service in the Royal Air Force he joined Plymouth Argyle as an amateur in 1949. He failed to make the grade at Argyle and was playing for Newton Abbot on a part-time basis, where he was spotted by Southampton when the clubs met in a pre-season friendly. Manager Sid Cann signed Parker in August 1951 and, after a few reserve team matches, he made his first team debut away to Leicester City on 3 September 1951. His early career was blighted by broken legs, firstly in a pre-season friendly against his former club in 1952 and then a year later in another friendly against an RAF team.
He eventually overcame these difficulties and in April 1954 he replaced Stan Clements at the heart of Saints' defence. He retained his place for the start of the following season before losing out to Len Wilkins. He continued to turn out regularly for the reserves and in turn replaced Wilkins in the centre for the first team; in 1956–57 he was ever-present and his "sterling performances in the heart of the Southampton defence" earned him Divisional representational honours. He was selected to play for the Third Division South team in 1955–56 and 1956–57.
After 145 games for the Saints, he was transfer listed in 1959 and moved on a free transfer to Poole Town, along with Southampton teammates Bryn Elliott, Sam Stevens and Barry Hillier. After a year with Poole, he moved to the Isle of Wight to join Cowes Sports starting a long association with the Cowes club, where he became manager in 1961, continuing to play until 1978.
After retiring from full-time professional football, he worked as a production controller before becoming a sales administrator for International Computers Limited. He lived in Southampton for the rest of his life and died on 28 January 2014.
- "Pat Parker". Barry Hugman's Footballers Post-War Premier & Football League Players' Records. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
- Holley, Duncan; Chalk, Gary (2003). In That Number - A post-war chronicle of Southampton FC. Hagiology Publishing. pp. 563–564. ISBN 0-9534474-3-X.
- Edwards, Leigh (6 October 2007). "A-Z of the Saints: Paine - Pele". Saints official matchday programme: 24–25.