One of North Wales football’s greatest characters has passed away after a long battle with illness.
Former postman Eifion Parry will always be best remembered for his dedication to Nefyn United, where his involvement stretched back 27 years.
Earlier this year, he was presented with a prestigious long service medal by North Wales Coast FA president Dennis Bryant.
Eifion was a past winner of Welsh Alliance Secretary of the Season and secured the same award twice in the Caernarfon and District League.
During Eifion’s involvement at Cae’r Delyn, the club won the NWCFA Junior Cup twice – in 1999-2000 and 2017-18.
Last season they lifted the Bob Owen Memorial Shield, beating Gwynedd League champions Menai Bridge Tigers 5-0 in the final at Porthmadog.
Eifion had suffered serious health problems in recent years, leading to several stays in hospital, but on each occasion he returned to his football duties on release.
This season, however, due to further deterioration in his condition, he was unable to commit to the level he had in the past.
Nonetheless, he said recently he was very optimistic for the future of the club, currently under the three-man managership of Carl Jones, Steve Jones and Alan Jones.
Recalling the highlights of his time at Nefyn, Eifion recently told me: “We went to the semi-final of the Welsh Trophy (in 2008-09), losing to Penycae 3-2 (at Rhyl), and we lost in the Barritt Cup Final (2011/12) to Caernarfon Town 2-1 (at Conwy), but stayed in the Welsh Alliance 10 years without relegation – what a record for such a small place.
“Winning the Junior Cup in 2000 and 2018 and the Bob Owen Memorial in 2019 will also always be special memories.”
Eifion, also a former club treasurer at Nefyn, was a true friend. Always keen to pass on the latest news from the Penwaig, he also supplied match reports in both Welsh and English.
He could talk for hours about football, but that was not his only source of conversation. Eifion was a very caring man, always there with kind words and encouragement when required.
Married to his beloved Beryl for 44 years, he was very passionate, often outspoken, about football matters, but his opinion was always honest and to be respected. His sense of humour was legendary and he fully merited being known as Mr Nefyn United.
Perhaps unusually for a North Walian, he was a Newcastle United fan. He once told me this was largely down to his admiration for the club’s former striker and Wales international, the great Wyn Davies from Caernarfon, who scored 40 goals in 181 appearances for the Magpies between 1966-71.
Social media has been full of tributes to Eifion today, with numerous clubs who met him over the years keen to pass on their condolences. Perhaps the most special words, however, came from his very own CPD Nefyn.
“Dydi’r byd yma ddim yn gwneud llawer o bobl fel Eifion Parry! Collad mawr i’r byd ac Clwb Pel Droed Nefyn. Ei ymroddiad ac ymrwymiad sydd wedi cadw y clwb i fynd ers 27 o flynyddoedd. Rydym ni fel Clwb yn cydymdeimlo gyda’i holl deulu ag ffrindiau. Cwsg yn dawel Eifion.”
“There are not many people in this world like Eifion Parry. A massive loss to the world and Nefyn United. His dedication and commitment kept the club going for the past 27 years. As a club, we pass on our deepest sympathies to his friends and family. Rest in peace Eifion.”