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Eric Parsons

Personal information
Date of birth9 November 1923
Playing positionWinger

     Home | Football | Eric Parsons

Eric "Rabbit" Parsons (9 November 1923 7 February 2011) was a footballer who played for West Ham United, Chelsea and Brentford.

A winger and crowd favourite whose blistering pace earned him the nickname "the Rabbit", Parsons started his career with West Ham United, spotted by the club during a game against West Ham Boys at Upton Park while playing for Worthing Boys. He played his first game for the Irons on 4 January 1947, in a Division Two game against Leicester City, then his second a week later against the same club in the FA Cup. He was an ever-present during the 1947 48 and 1948 49 seasons, and made a total of 152 appearances for the club, scoring 35 goals. His last game came against Notts County on 25 November 1950.

He served in Montgomery's Eighth Army during the Second World War.

Parsons joined Chelsea in November 1950 for a then club record fee of £23,000. A pacy winger, Parsons was unfortunate to play in an era of great English wingers, such as Stanley Matthews and Tom Finney, which limited his international opportunities to two "England B" caps. Nevertheless, Parsons formed an important part of Ted Drake's Chelsea side of the early 1950s, as both goalscorer and creator. Despite this, he was occasionally barracked by sections of the Chelsea crowd. He played in every game of Chelsea's Championship-winning side in 1955 and contributed 11 goals, including two in the 3 0 win over Sheffield Wednesday which clinched the title. During the title celebrations and speeches following the win over Wednesday, he finally won over the crowd at Stamford Bridge, who chanted "We want Rabbit."

Parsons left Chelsea in 1956 for Brentford. He sustained a broken leg while at the club, but still managed to take his total to over 400 League appearances before retiring from football. When Chelsea won the Premier League title in 2004 05 Parsons was among several surviving members of the 1954 55 title-winning side to be invited to the trophy presentation at Stamford Bridge. He continued to live in his home town of Worthing and died on 7 February 2011.

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