Eddie Parris was the son of a West Indian father and a white mother. His father John – known as Jack – Parris was born in St Michael, Barbados in 1874 and arrived in the UK in about 1908.
In 1909 he married widow Annie Alford in Chepstow, their son Edward John Parris was born at Pwllmeyric on January 31st 1911. Annie had a daughter Mabel from her first marriage and she and Jack had another daughter Annie Rebecca.
Eddie Parris showed early promise as a footballer and by his mid-teens he was playing for Chepstow Town Football Club. In 1928 he was spotted by scouts from Bradford Park Avenue and Eddie signed on a trial with the team. He played his first game in January 1929 against Hull City and scored the goal that earned Park Avenue a replay, the team went on to win a place in the second round. His football league debut came when he played against Tottenham.
In 1931-2 season he was leading goalscorer for the team with fourteen goals. Whenever Eddie was playing locally the Cheptow train would be full of Eddie’s supporters and friends, he was a great local hero to all of the youngsters.
In December 1931 he was awarded a Wales Cap and became the first black player to represent Wales. Sadly his career was dogged by injuries and this was his only international cap.
Eddie later played for Bournemouth and Boscombe United and it was while there in 1935 that he married Agnes Shaw. In 1939 Agnes was living with Eddie’s parents at Tutshill in Tubular Cottages they later moved to Grahamstown Road.
When his playing career came to an end he acted as a scout for Gloucester City and worked in an aircraft company during WW2.
Eddie died in 1971 in Gloucester, Jack and Annie Parris are both buried in St John’s Churchyard Beachley.