Philling In Some Family Gaps!

‘Looking For Lofty’ Mission Pays Off

A little-seen 1960s photo of Phil Parkes, kindly sent to us by the Jackson family.

Embarking on family trees has become a popular lockdown activity and we at Wolves Heroes are enjoying playing our minor part.

We were contacted out of the blue by Brian Jackson, a Londoner now resident an hour or so north of where Graham Taylor’s Wolves won against Lecce in the Anglo Italian Cup in 1994.

Brian is an Arsenal fan and has no direct links with Molineux but told us: “Phil Parkes is the son of my late mother’s sister, so we are first cousins.

“My mum, like Phil and his family, was from West Bromwich and moved to London during the war. She never went back apart from a few months in about 1950 when my dad was looking for work.

“I would say the last time we saw Phil and his family was in the early 1990s when we visited the West Midlands. I was with my mum and brothers and sisters and have been asked by some of them to assist with our family tree.

“I have learned about the Wolves Former Players Association and the Wolves Heroes website and would love to at least speak to Phil for a catch-up.

“I remember him being brought down here when he was a young boy and we all went to either Hyde Park or Green Park and had a picture taken.

“And for the few months we lived in West Brom, I think we lived very close to their house.”

We have passed on to the former Wolves keeper the news of Brian’s approach and were delighted when the go-ahead came for us to connect the two.

We hope to have a further update for our readers in time but will be content for now with sharing more memories Brian has of the time the families spent together, especially on Wolves visits to the capital.

“We lived for a lot of our time in North London within walking distance of Highbury, so we are all avid Arsenal fans and my mother lived for a while no more than 400 yards from the ground,” he added.

“As a rule, I stood at the Clock End but remember Phil sometimes getting several us tickets for one of the stands when Wolves were playing down there.”

Lofty (front centre) with family in a London park. Seems he was a big lad even then. Brian Jackson is on the far left of those seated.

Brian remembers, in particular, a game in Alan Ball’s time when Lofty and his fellow defenders conceded ‘a few goals’. We believe the best betting options are that it was the midweek 5-2 defeat there early in 1972-73.

The family also have recollections of watching him at QPR and at Tottenham in the UEFA Cup final.

“Sometimes, I went with members of the family to support him, at others we just turned up and made our own arrangements,” Brian said.

Before moving to Southern Italy with his Polish-born wife Barbara, Brian had been visiting the area for ten years or so because a friend had a property there.

As well as keeping various animals, like ducks and chickens, the couple help find holiday-makers to find local accommodation.

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