McCarthy and Chambers pay tribute to Town stalwart Parker
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy and skipper Luke Chambers have led tributes to “much-loved” club stalwart Dick Parker after he died at the weekend.
Parker worked at the club for 20 years, most recently as Academy kit man and caretaker at the training ground.
McCarthy, who made a point of always including Parker in the official first team photo, was left saddened by the news.
He told the club website: “It’s desperately sad news. It has affected everyone at the club. He was much-loved by the players, by all the staff at the training ground.
“He would be the first one in and the last one to leave. The club will have to employ three people to replace him.
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“He was a big character, a big personality. Even the eight-year-old Academy boys loved him and called him the giant.
“He was a gentle giant and he will be missed greatly by us all.”
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Skipper Chambers added: “He has been at the club for as long as anyone can remember and was a great personality.
“Words can’t put into perspective what we feel at the moment. He did so much for the Football Club and the community.
“He is a massive loss for everyone and obviously our thoughts are with his family.”
Head of coaching and player development, Bryan Klug, also paid tribute, saying: “Everyone who was part of the Academy knew Dick – he was a true gentleman with a heart of gold.
“He dedicated a huge part of his life to Ipswich Town and particularly the training ground and Academy.
“He leaves a massive hole and will be impossible to replace. He was so conscientious in his work and was always willing to do anything to help others.
“His family have said Ipswich Town was a massive part of Dick’s life and how much he loved his job and being amongst the players and staff. We are all so shocked at this loss.”
Parker leaves a wife and four sons.