John Edward (Eddie) PARRIS\r\n\r\nThe first black player to represent the Wales national football team, Eddie Parris enjoyed over a decade long stay at Gloucester City near the end of his career.\r\n\r\nHe captained the club but interrupted by war-time, a large percentage of his games for the Tigers came in friendlies, scoring 89 times in 81 appearances overall.\r\n\r\n

Eddie Parris (photo: Bantams Past)

\r\n\r\nBorn 31st January 1911 in Pwillmeyric, Chepstow, he was born to a Welsh mother and a West Indian father. He starred notably for his hometown team, Chepstow Town, before being spotted by Bradford Park Avenue, then a leading Football League outfit.\r\n\r\nHe established himself on the left wing and was even dubbed, maybe originally, the Welsh wizard.\r\n\r\nIn December 1931, he made his international debut against Ireland in Belfast, although sometimes cited as the first black player to play for any of the ’home nations’; research now suggests that in fact the first was the Scotland player Andrew Watson.\r\n\r\nParris later played for Bournemouth, Luton Town, Northampton Town, Cheltenham Town and Gloucester City where he became Club Captain in 1941 before serving in the Second World War.\r\n\r\nSince his death in 1971, Parris has been called ‘one of the most important figures in the history of Welsh football’.\r\n\r\nCareer Stats\r\n\r\nDebut – 25/11/1939 v Bath City (A) Won 5-2 (scored two)\r\n\r\nFinal – 26/04/1948 v Barry Town (A) Lost 0-5\r\n\r\n1939/40 19 apps 10 gls\r\n\r\n1940/41\r\n\r\n1941/42 7 apps 10 gls\r\n\r\n1942/43 19 apps 30 gls\r\n\r\n1947/48 2 apps 0 gls\r\n\r\nTOTAL 47 apps 50 gls\r\n\r\nClub Record: Chepstow Town, 1928-33 Bradford Park Avenue (133-38), 1934-36 Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic (100-23), 1936-37 Luton Town (7-2), 1937-38 Northampton Town (25-7), Bath City, Cheltenham Town, Gloucester City.\r\n\r\nInternational Record: Wales (1).

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