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Tributes paid to ‘loving’ father who founded local football club

PUBLISHED: 16:58 26 September 2018

Reg Parker, who has died at the age of 89, with his award for 50 years service to football. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY COPY: FOR:EDP NEWS © ARCHANT NORFOLK 2010 (01603 772434)

Reg Parker, who has died at the age of 89, with his award for 50 years service to football. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY COPY: FOR:EDP NEWS © ARCHANT NORFOLK 2010 (01603 772434)

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2010

A football lover who founded a village team near Dereham and kept it going throughout his life has been hailed as a “loving” father by his son after his death at the age of 89.

Reg Parker who founded Wendling FC has died at the age of 89. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY COPY: FOR:EDP NEWS © ARCHANT NORFOLK 2010 (01603 772434)Reg Parker who founded Wendling FC has died at the age of 89. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY COPY: FOR:EDP NEWS © ARCHANT NORFOLK 2010 (01603 772434)

Reginald Parker helped form Wendling FC in 1956 and served as a player, the club secretary and even as a linesman, which he was still doing up until a few years ago.

His son, Mel Parker, said: “He did everything for that club and even used his own money to keep the club going.

“I played for them and other members of our family have all played for the club. He was even known known to referee the games if the referee didn’t turn up.

“He was a really loving father. He’s really well known in the Norfolk football community, everyone knows who he is.”

A photo of Wendling FC in 1957 (Reg pictured bottom row, far left) PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY COPY: FOR:EDP NEWS © ARCHANT NORFOLK 2010 (01603 772434)A photo of Wendling FC in 1957 (Reg pictured bottom row, far left) PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY COPY: FOR:EDP NEWS © ARCHANT NORFOLK 2010 (01603 772434)

Reginald also had a passion for cricket, playing for the Wendling team for many years and also helped to run the Norwich and South Norfolk football league and the Dereham and District League.

He married his wife Margaret in 1954 and they lived together in both Wendling and Dereham and as well as his two children, he leaves behind five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

He worked at Case and Dewing estate agents in Dereham his entire life and was also a keen horse racing fan.

Mel added: “Away from cricket and football his other great love was horse racing and he had a bet on a horse every day, even the day he died.

“He worked at Case and Dewing all his life until he retired and was still involved with Wendling FC until he got ill.”

Reginald was honoured for his 50 years of devotion to Wendling FC back in 2010, receiving a medal from the Norfolk FA.

In his later years, he suffered with Parkinson’s disease and died on September 4, with his funeral taking place on Friday September 21.

Mel said: “Lots of people from the Norfolk football community came to say their goodbyes.”

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