O’s to raise money to recognise World War One hero Parker
- Credit: Archant
Clapton Orient captain Fred ‘Spider’ Parker was the first footballer to sign up for the Footballers Battalion
Leyton Orient have revealed they will attempt to raise funds in order to recognise Clapton Orient footballer and World War One hero Fred ‘Spider’ Parker.
On Saturday (November 17), the current O’s team will wear commemorative kits in a National League match against Bromley in a nod to the club’s history when signing up to fight for King and Country in World War One.
All proceeds from an auction of the match-worn commemorative kits will go towards erecting a permanent gravestone at the resting place of legendary Orient captain Parker, who was the first footballer to sign up for the Footballers Battalion.
A statement on the official club website read: “Fred ‘Spider’ Parker (full name - Frederick George William Parker) was the captain of the Orient side that became the first English football team to sign up en-masse for World War One following a meeting at Fulham Town Hall in December 1914, and even met with Prime Minister H.H Asquith to discuss his ideas of the formation of a Footballers’ Battalion.
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“Parker was the first player to reach 300 appearances for the O’s and left the club having played 336 times. He currently lies in an unmarked grave in New Southgate.
“Leyton Orient will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, and the club’s special role, by wearing a commemorative kit for the match against Bromley on November 17.
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“The shirt dons the iconic red chevron, similar to the shirt worn by the club’s war heroes. The club would like to thank our kit sponsors Dream Team, Goldline, The Energy Check and ReThink for allowing the use of an unbranded kit for this fixture.
“At the conclusion of the match, the match-worn shirts will be auctioned to supporters and the money raised will go towards creating a permanent gravestone for Fred Parker, and the British Legion.”