Obituary December 15, 1995

Grahame Parker - Cambridge man of many talents

E W Swanton

Grahame Parker, who has died aged 83, was a formidable Cambridge allround sportsman of the 1930s and an England full-back as well as university cricket captain and rugby Blue all four years.

After war-time service he had two careers, both highly successful, the first as schoolmaster at Blundell`s, the second as secretary manager and finally in 1986-87 as president of Gloucestershire.

Educated at the Crypt School, Grahame Wilshaw Parker was a Gloucestershireman through and through. We shared a birthday on Feb 11 and for years kept annually in touch. He was a man whose quiet manner concealed great strength of character and a wry humour.

At full-back Parker was one of eight resident or later internationals in the great side of 1934-35 inspired by Wilfred Wooller and Cliff Jones which demolished Oxford 29-4.

At Lord`s he was run out for 94 in the drawn 1934 University Match (wherein the `poor` attendance of 24,000 was put down to the counter-attraction of the Old Trafford Test against Australia).

The following year, when Cambridge won by 195 runs, was a triumph for him both as leader and, with top score of 76 not out, as batsman. A steady opening bat, magnificent fielder and useful swing bowler on his day he played 70 Gloucestershire matches, in 1937 making 210 against Kent and two other hundreds.

In 1938, as a Dulwich master, he played twice at full-back for England, kicking 15 points in a handsome victory in Dublin.

As a major in the RASC he saw service in North Africa and Italy, winning a military MBE, upgraded to OBE following his command of the Blundell`s Cadet Force. He taught for 22 years at Blundell`s, 15 of them as housemaster of Westlake and, simultaneously, with Ted Crowe, coach of the XV.

Finally, Parker took over the secretary managership of Gloucestershire when their affairs were at a low ebb. He transformed them to championship runners-up in 1969 and winners of the Gillette Cup in 1973 and the Benson and Hedges Cup in 1977.

Tony Brown, captain throughout his secretarial/managerial time, was among his warmest admirers: "It was a great pleasure to work with him. Grahame might disagree with people but would never quarrel. He was too big a man for squabbles."

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