The New Saints of Oswestry Town are celebrating their history all this month with a series of stories, competitions and events.
Born in Llansilin, near Oswestry in 1870, Parry joined Chester St Oswalds from where he was signed by Everton in 1889. Parry made his Everton League debut in the first match of 1889-90, the Football League’s second season. Parry was ever-present as Everton finished runners up.
Parry was a versatile player who was equally comfortable at full or halfback, and had good positional sense, a strong tackle and good speed. A free kick expert, over 60 yards he was able to place the ball “on the required spot.”
His reputation for “bashing goalkeepers” did not stop him becoming a regular in the Everton side for 6 years and an “exceedingly popular player.”
Parry spent the early part of 1890-91 in the reserves, but, after being recalled, he played most of the rest of the season as Everton were champions of the Football League for the first time.
After playing at left half in the first match of the 1891–92 season, Parry again lost his regular place and in October 1891 he requested to leave the club and the board agreed to release him if he could find another team to compensate Everton. In December 1892, Parry was re-engaged by
Everton and returned to the first team at left back in January 1893, although he was not selected to play in any of the cup matches which saw Everton reach the final of the FA Cup that year.
In September 1893, Parry was suspended for 2 weeks without pay, and could not get back into a settled first team until 23 December. After a run of 4 defeats, Parry lost his place again and, in March, was in trouble with the board “for not attending training etc” and was suspended for a fortnight with his bonuses revoked, and only recalled for the last 2 matches of the season.
The 1894-95 season saw Parry make the left back position his own and he missed only 3 matches as Everton finished League runners-up. Parry only made 2 appearances for Everton in the 1895–96 season; his final appearance coming in a loss to Aston Villa on 30 September 1895.
In autumn 1895, Parry made a short-lived move to Manchester City, failing to appear for them, and returned to Wales in December 1895 when he took a public house in Newtown and joined his local club helping Newtown reach the final of the Welsh Cup in 1897.
Parry made 13 appearances for Wales, making his debut, at left half in the 1891 match against England. Parry’s best match for Wales came in the draw against England in March 1895, and, for the next 3 matches, Parry was appointed captain.
In 1899, Parry joined Aberystwyth Town. Despite playing non-League football, Parry retained his international place until 1898.
Returning to his home town in 1900, Oswestry United were in need of a goalkeeper and Parry kept goal for them before eventually retiring in 1906.
Sadly, Parry had fallen on hard times and was the beneficiary of two further testimonial matches. Parry’s health continued to deteriorate and he died on 4 February 1922, aged 51, leaving a widow and 6 children.
The culmination of the campaign will be a reunion event held at The Venue in February. Any ex-players or staff from Oswestry Town FC can get in touch with the club by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve their place.