Tributes paid to Hoppers ace David

David Parker
David Parker
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Former Preston Grasshoppers forward David Parker passed away last week.

Parker, who played more than 100 times for the first-team mainly in the back row, made his Grasshoppers debut on September 9, 1967 away to Birmingham, and became a regular figure in the Hoppers pack during the 1970s and 80s.

His former team-mate Stan Threlfall paid tribute to him.

He said: “David had all the attributes that made him a fine back row player.

“He was a big, strong lad with good handling, attacking and defensive skills, and not one to take a backward step.

“David was a player you wanted on your side.”

Parker’s long affiliation with Grasshoppers began as a colts player.

But his natural ability soon saw him rise through the ranks rapidly into the first team, earning a call up for a Lancashire Cup game against Waterloo to combat the threat of Jim Sydall, who had played for England in the second row.

Team-mate Tony Mole said: “David was an all-action, ferocious, hard tackler, who always played on the edge and was red carded more than once in his playing career.

“Always one to get his retaliation in first, David could play anywhere in the back row to great effect.

“Off the field, he was a very popular guy, always laughing and joking.”

David is survived by his wife Marge and son Damian.

His funeral will take place tomorrow (Thursday) at 3.45pm at Blackburn Crematorium, Pleasington.