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Funeral of Ray Parfitt.

Byline: Michael Blair

The funeral takes place next Tuesday (1pm) at the Woodlands Cemetery, Chelmsley Wood, of Ray Parfitt (82) a former Birmingham police officer and a significant figure in the development of rugby in the city, writes Michael Blair.

Parfitt, together with Ray Williams, who went on to become the secretary of the Welsh Rugby Union, started the North Midlands Colts organisation and he was at the core of the activities of the police cadet organisation that nurtured the talents of the likes of Nigel Horton.

Born in Abertillery, Inspector Parfitt had rugby in his blood and the Birmingham City Police RFC, as they then were, were the focal point of his affections.

There was no prouder man in the city when the police became the first winners of the North Midlands Cup, beating Evesham in the final at The Reddings in 1972. He would have been saddened by the decline of rugby in police circles. There is no Birmingham City Police any more, or West Midlands Police RFC as they became. But there are policemen playing for a number of Midland clubs and a side is assembled every year to compete in the National Police Cup. Four years ago, a team that Parfitt could have associated himself with, won that trophy. Dave Millichamp, who served under Parfitt at Steelhouse Lane, who played for Birmingham and for the Police XV, paid this tribute: 'Ray Parfitt was an absolutely fearless policeman and I was proud to serve under him.

'He was everything as far as police rugby was concerned in this area and he was responsible for the success of the police teams and a lot of the individuals who developed through them.'
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 30, 2004
Words:283
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