Remembering Cliff Parsons: A Pioneer in Football Volunteerism and Community Service

Remembering Cliff Parsons: A Pioneer in Football Volunteerism and Community Service


Cliff was born in St Leonards in 1917 and attended North Sydney Boys High School until 1932 when he left school to help support his family during the Great Depression. When World War II broke out, Cliff joined the RAAF and became a pilot. After the war, Cliff returned to Australia and married Marjorie in 1950. In the mid-1950’s they built a home in Hornsby. Cliff became a member of the Hornsby RSL club. His son, Norman, started playing with the U9’s for Hornsby RSL Soccer Club in 1962. This is where Cliff’s volunteering with football began.

Norman recalls that his father started his role as Teams Coordinator with Hornsby RSL Soccer Club in 1964. The Teams Coordinator role involved the organisation of the Club’s teams each Saturday morning. Players would meet at the RSL Club and Cliff would organise transport to games for the players.  He continued in this role until 1966 which is the last year that Norman played for RSL. Norman played both Ku-ring-gai Reps as well as continuing to play for Hornsby RSL from the U10’s in 1963 to U13’s in 1966. In 1966, Cliff was the Manager of the U13’s Ku-ring-gai Representative team.

Norman played full time for Ku-ring-gai reps from the U14’s in 1967 and continued playing with them until he was in the U16’s team in 1969. Cliff followed his son to the representative team and managed Norman’s team from 1967 until 1969.

In 1970, Cliff became the Manager of the inaugural U18’s team with Artarmon Ku-ring-gai. He stayed in this position for several years, ensuring a smooth transition for the Ku-ring-gai U16 representative players to Artarmon Ku-ring-gai. The Ku-ring-gai and District Soccer Association (KDSA) first entered representative teams in NSW Amateur Soccer Association competitions in 1959/1960. In 1963, Ku-ring-gai United was formed and entered the NSW Soccer Federation’s Amateur League. This was the first Senior representative team. In 1970, Ku-ring-gai United merged with Artarmon to form Artarmon Ku-ring-gai and competed in the NSW Soccer Federation Competitions.

Cliff was also the Registrar and Recorder for the Ku-ring-gai and District Soccer Association (KDSA) from 1964 to 1967. In this role he kept track of all players in the KDSA and compiled results tables for all matches. This was done manually without the aid of computers and spreadsheets.

In the mid 1960’s Cliff bought a suit manufacturing firm known as AWS Huntington. As well as making suits, Huntington’s also made blazers fro Australian Commonwealth and Olympic Games teams as well as the KDSA Committee. Many will remember these blazers being worn at official occasion and presentation ceremonies.

Cliff was honoured with Life Membership of the Association in 1968. He was one our earliest Life Members. We thank Cliff for his many years of dedicated service to football in our district.

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