Derek Parsons – Former R’s Player Who Grew up in Gravesend Road, Shepherd’s Bush

Derek Parsons was born on 24th October 1929 and grew up at 23, Gravesend Road, Shepherd’s Bush.

He signed amateur forms for QPR in February 1950 and became a professional with the Club just ten days later. 

In his first full season for the R’s, 1950/51, Derek played in 19 Combination games and he also appeared in one friendly. 

During the 1951/52 season, Derek made 34 appearances for the reserves. He also played in three friendlies and scored a goal.

His first team debut came on 8th November 1952 in Torquay,when he was a replacement for Lewis Clayton who had failed a late fitness test:

‘Only just in time did 23-year-old wing-half Derek Parsons catch up with the Queen’s Park Rangers party bound for Torquay, at Paddington last evening.

His chance of a league bow came as a complete surprise for the Shepherd’s Bush-born lad. He had to dash home for his bag!’

A short match report appeared in ‘The People’ the following day:

‘Derek Parsons, the 23-year-old Shepherd’s Bush-born left-half, making his league debut, earned a point for the Rangers with a grand goal from a 30-yards drive in the 23rd minute.

Rangers, more methodical, looked a side safe for victory in the first-half. Torquay’s finishing was poor, and they would have done well to copy Rangers’ sharp-shooting tactics.

Torquay were again hampered by injury. Early on they had to move right-half Lewis to the left-wing and later he switched to the right. 

The reshuffle seemed an incentive, and in a fighting second-half, Torquay had Rangers with their backs to the wall. 

Torquay drew level in the 78th minute when centre-forward Collins hooked the ball over the head to beat Brown. Then the enthusiastic home side made enough openings to ensure victory, but the ball did not run for them. 

Rangers, though overshadowed in the second-half still fought, and a fine drive by Cameron came near to changing the result.’

Derek kept his place the following week when the R’s drew 2-2 at Loftus Road with Northampton Town. 

His third and final first team outing came the week after that in a home FA Cup tie when the Rangers took on Shrewsbury Town.

During that season Derek, played in 31 reserve games, two London Challenge Cup ties and one friendly match.

Derek moved on to Ashford Town (Kent), the following year, where he linked up with former R’s players, Dave Nelson and Reg Chapman. 

Steve Russell

(Thanks to Peter Trott & Colin Woodley for their assistance)