Stourbridge and Stourbridge Lions are mourning Roger Parkes, a stalwart worker for both clubs, who has died aged 72 after a long and brave battle against cancer.
Parkes’s outstanding contribution to rugby for seven decades was recognised with the Long Service Award at the North Midlands RFU Volunteer Awards Evening in June.
He played as prop in Stourbridge’s first team from 1958-82, was colts manager from 1990-96, club President in 1997 and second team manager from 1998-2003. He retained an active involvement in both clubs until the end.
Parkes was proud of Stourbridge Lions’ achievement in winning the Midlands Senior Vase last season and reaching the semi-finals of the RFU Senior Vase. He attended Stourbridge’s former players’ reunion during the match against Luctonians at Stourton Park two weeks ago.
“If you talk about Black Country rugby then it was Roger Parkes,” said Stourbridge director of rugby Neil Mitchell. “I have been associated with the club for 17 years and he has been an ever-present guiding light in that time.
“He was always concerned about every level of the clubs – Saxons and Lions – and always there with wise advice. Roger guided me when I decided to join Moseley and supported that decision. He always wanted to see local lads progress as far as they could in rugby. Even when his health was failing Roger remained a loyal supporter of both clubs and the Long Service Award that he was presented with by North Midlands meant everything to him and his family.”
Steve Guy, one of the two RFU Council Members for North Midlands, added his tribute “I would always look forward to meeting him at Stourbridge Rugby Club, having little trouble finding him amongst the crowd because he was the big chap in short sleeve shirt even in the coldest weather. The game has lost a true rugby giant, a gentleman to the end, I will miss him. My sympathies go out to his family and many friends.”