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| 08/05/2018


Members of Bridgwater & Albion Rugby Football Club were saddened to learn of the death of Barry “Harold” Parr on Sunday 6 May. Barry had been a club member and supporter from the early 1970’s when he, Norman Baker and Phil Venning all joined Albion, having started their rugby football careers at North Petherton.

Interestingly, Barry started off as a scrum-half before moving to full-back. Whilst any outside observer would have commented upon his unusual stature for a player in these positions, lo and behold anyone who challenged him as they were in for a rude awakening. In particular, he rarely kicked the ball from full-back – preferring to run it back at the opposition and with resounding effect as it often took several opponents to stop him. Soon Harold moved into the front row where he remained for the rest of his career – that certainly more suited his size and shape. In the front row, he proved to be an awkward opponent causing havoc at times but all of this was well appreciated by his team-mates. He became a very competent prop and ultimately made his 1st XV debut at a late stage in his career and perhaps surprised both himself and his colleagues by more than holding his own and going on to earn his badge for 75 1st XV appearances. He played his last game in the 1st XV against Clifton in October 1988 on the cusp of his 40th birthday. He continued to turn out for our lower sides before retiring and he thus played at 1st XV, United XV and Dirtrackers XV for some long time as well as for the club’s Veterans XV.

Harold always had plenty to say on and off the field to team-mates, opponents and indeed on many occasions to the referee. Whilst the former were often laughed off, the latter brought him some tickings-off and on one or two occasions, dismissal from the field. On one occasion, his then captain Father Mike Derrick also sent him from the field anticipating that that was a better move than the referee doing so. However, such attitude showed his passion and commitment. He always wanted himself and the team to do well. He was great fun to have in our teams and also off the field where his various antics, anecdotes and general demeanour kept everyone amused.

After his playing retirement, Barry continued to support Albion and was last seen at the club in December 2017.

Barry passed away at the age of 69. He was not the only member of his family to appear for the club as brother Colin was a free scoring wing from the end of the 1960’s to the mid 1970’s, making almost 250 1st XV appearances for the club.

The club sends its sincere condolences to Caroline and family. Barry’s funeral will be held at Sedgemoor Crematorium, Stretcholt on Wednesday 23 May at 11 am.


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Category: Club News

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