Alan Parker has over more years than he probably cares to remember performed various roles in the sport of Rugby League.
Starting life as a player, he then became a match official, taking charge at matches and venues all over the country. His claim to fame at one time being that he had officiated a 1st team game at every ground in the country, though this of course has now changed since his retirement from the game.
Since Alan retired from his paid working role he has continued to work tirelessly for the sport of Rugby League. Until very recently he was still performing the role of match official assessor, his role to watch and report on performances in the professional game.
Alan is a founder member of the British Amateur Rugby League Association (BARLA), being one of a small number of people who one night in 1973 put their hands in their own pocket to donate £1 to open a bank account with £25 in the name of the BARLA organisation.
The people who met that night did so because they were worried about the amateur game as a whole, and how it was being treated by the professional game. There were only 150 sides in this country and only 30 youth sides at that time. They decided to form the BARLA organisation to protect the amateur game and the organisation created that night has gone on to become one of the largest and most successful amateur governing bodies in the world and now the sport has grown to boast 1,500 open age sides and a over a 1,000 youth sides fielding tens of thousands of players every week.
Presented in the 80’s & 90’s with a number of BARLA awards which included the coverted Tom Keaveney and Silver Boot Awards, he was also named BARLA Sportsman of the Year. The turn of the century has seen Alan again nominated and recognized by other organisations and is both a Barclays Local Sporting Hero and last year winners of Hull & East Yorkshire Sporting Heroes & Champions Services to Sport Award.
Alan is now a life member of the BARLA organisation as recognition of his dedication and achievements in the game, and as a reward for the foresight he and a small number of others had on that famous night.
Whilst Alan was involved in the things above, he also dedicates around 40 hours a week to the running of both Open Age and Youth Rugby League in the Hull and District Area. He dedicates many hours to the Open Age game and is one of the most respected figures in local sport in the area, as he not only contributes to Rugby League, but has also been an active administrator of Cricket in the Hull area and Tennis and Bridge clubs too.
Alan is also involved in Youth Rugby for the Yorkshire area where he is currently Fixture Secretary for the Yorkshire Combination Youth League that involves age groups U16 through to U18.
The majority of his spare time today is spent developing the Hull & District Youth Rugby League Association, where he currently holds the dual roles of Chairman & Treasurer.
Whilst I know he will be embarrassed when he finds out about this article, I do hope you will all join us at www.hullrugbyleague.com in wishing Alan a very happy 70th Birthday.
Should you wish to send him your own personal congratulations his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org