1959
Keith Parsons

Exmouth born, Keith played for the reserves in a South Western League match on the 28th of November 1959 at Tavistock. 

He played two games for City reserves in the Western League in 1960/61.

Keith Parsons played as an Amateur for two years under Jack Edwards in the sixties. Playing at most positions in the Western League side.

He then went on to play for Taunton Town and Exmouth before re-joining City in 1972 to coach the newly formed reserve side. 

This following article appeared in a programme at the start of the season 
SPOTLIGHT ON THE RESERVES

The re-introduction of the City Reserves was a decision welcomed by every City supporter. The decision was a reverse of the usual trend of recent seasons which saw club after club deciding to operate with only one team.
The aim of the reserve side is to help local youngsters to develop and stop the promising youths from seeking soccer fame elsewhere. While one aim was to bring on local talent it is also intended that the reserve side will provide those professionals not in the first team with a game. This prevents players from becoming stale. A player for example could train as hard as he could, but without playing regularly he soon becomes stale.
Despite attempts to run the reserve side in the Exeter & District League certain problems were encountered. It was because of these problems that an application was made to join the Western League.
The man in charge of the reserve side is Keith Parsons. 
Keith seems well aware of the problems of running the reserve side. In fact, he disclosed to me that he would be happy if the reserve side "finished up half way in their first season". Keith, who works for the Exmouth Journal during the week, sees the main aim of the reserve side as a breeding ground for local players. "Naturally John (Newman) wants to give any good youngsters the chance to come through."
One youngster who has come through from the reserve side is Keith Clapham. Keith, of course, joined City from Bournemouth. He was recommended to City by Bournemouth's assistant manager. It is doubtful whether City would have signed Keith had we not had a reserve side because he had absolutely no League experience behind him. He made his debut for City at Torquay. 
As Keith Parsons told me, "Keith Clapham had been playing well in the reserves. John Newman must have taken notice of the reports and decided to take the chance with Keith. I don't think John realised that he had signed such a competitive player."
The captain of the reserve side is Graham Mustard. He, in fact, was a member of City's last Western League side. I suspect he was made captain because of his Western League experience.
Keith Parsons seemed a little reluctant to single out any players. 
But I did gather that Dave Bassett and Rob Webber had impressed him most. He told me that "Dave Bassett is a very brave 'keeper. Rob Webber is a strong lad and we shall miss him while he is injured for the next three weeks."
Keith seemed relatively happy with the Western League performance. "At Bristol City we got a good point. Their combination side hadn't a game that day so we played them. At Mangotsfield we got another first-class point. Against St. Luke's we had to come from behind twice and to beat St. Luke's is a good thing."
Over all Keith felt that "some results had gone against us. In others we have been giving away early goals and possibly demoralising ourselves. Also we have had a lot of injuries". I'll vouch for that. Last week they drew at Frome with a player in goal who normally plays in defence.

The following is from a press article from 1974
Keith Parsons is no stranger to St. James' Park having been connected with Exeter City Football Club on and off for the last 12 years. Born and bred in Exmouth, where he still lives with his wife Jenny and young son. He was an amateur with City for two years when our present coach Jack Edwards was manager here in the early sixties. I think it is fair to say that during that time he played in almost every position on the field for the club in those Western League days.

Taunton Town was the club who persuaded Keith to turn professional and it turned out to be a good choice, as he went on to captain the team through a very successfull period including winning the Western League championship. In all he spent six years at Hamilton Drive. The next step was back to Exmouth Town as coach and captain of the Exeter and District Premier side.

John Newman invited Keith to be coach of the newly formed reserve side at St. James' Park, and we know what an outstanding success he has made of that job.

Whether playing or sitting on the touch line he is never satisfied with coming second, Keith Parsons plays to win all the time.

He made six apperances in the 1974/75 reserve team, including playing against Bodmin, in a South Western League game for Exeter City on the 20/1/1975.

Also from the Echo an article by Tony Phillips on the 8/10/1975. 

"CITY RESERVE PARSONS FOR EXMOUTH JOB

KEITH PARSONS has left Exeter City as the reserve team's trainer-coach-and it is my guess that within the next 24 hours he will become Exmouth Town's new player-manager.
Exmouth Town officials were tight lipped today about a pending deal, but I firmly expect to see Parsons' name on their team sheet for Saturday's Western League game. Mr. Geoff Morris, the Exmouth club's chairman, told me: Mr. John Newman, the Exeter "We have had several applications for the job, but I do not wish to make any further comment until the contract has been signed and sealed."

From St. James's Park today,

Mr. John Newman, the Exeter manager, confirmed that Parsons had left the City."


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Comments

David Bullas

I remember playing against Keith back in the day, a really nice man, after a game at Exmouth, I was playing for Cullompton Rangers, my name was on the match programme line up, so chuffed as it was the only club I’d seen a printed programme from, I chatted to him in their clubhouse after and he got me a programme to keep, nice man to chat with, always appreciated that gesture.

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