WAITING for the clock at Wilderspool to strike midnight so he could sign on as a player is a moment Parry Gordon never forgot.

The scrum half signed up with Warrington the minute he was old enough on reaching 16-years-old after months of impatient waiting.

Little did the youngster realise in his excitement that he was joining up with the club that he would go through the next 22 years and two testimonials with.

The ultimate club man, Parry was the diminutive creative force that would power the club through the good times ahead. Described by former teammate John Bevan as 'the best scrum half I've ever seen', he got on with the job in hand without a fuss.

Parry said: "I was a Wigan lad but they didn't have much for the under 19s so I was brought over to Warrington when I was 15. I took to the place straight away.

"The club was bubbling then with a lot of great players fighting for positions and a real excitement. I liked the feeling of the stadium as well so I knew it was for me.

"I never expected to stay more than 20 years but I always felt right where I was. The fans never gave me a hard time when I had a bad game and I appreciated that. They took a shine to me and I certainly took a shine to them.

"I played alongside some great players as well, of course. I was only five feet six inches tall and 10 stone but they protected me well and I always felt part of a close team. Other clubs came along with offers but I was never really tempted."

Parry worked his way through the junior ranks before getting his first team break in a 12-25 defeat against Barrow at Wilderspool on October 23, 1963.

It's a day he never forgot.

He said: "I remember very clearly walking into the dressing room as it was then and looking at the number seven peg, which was straight in front of you when you went in.

"There had been times when I had looked around at the good quality half backs at the club and wondered if I was ever going to get a chance but there I was and the peg was mine, even if only for the next 40 minutes. It was such a great feeling."

He scored his first try for the club against Wakefield at Wilderspool on New Year's Day, 1964.

He said: "I scored from 40 or 50 yards out against Wakefield, who were a decent side at the time and the fans really got behind me after that."

Parry has often been credited as the best scrum half never to be picked for Great Britain, but the man himself was modest enough to put any success he had down to the consideration of others.

He said: "I was always lucky with coaches at Wilderspool. They saw something in me that they thought they could develop and took the time to encourage me when I was starting out.

"There are great players that don't get the chances they need but I was one of the few who got the luck when I needed it. Perhaps I missed that when it came to Great Britain but there were plenty of good half backs out there."

Parry played his last game for the club in a 14-7 home win against Castleford on September 13, 1981. He coached briefly at the club but decided to leave shortly after Billy Benyon was replaced as coach in March 1982.

He said: "I was working as a fitter for British Aerospace during the day and then out seeing games and coaching in the evenings. I had three daughters growing up at home and I was out until 9pm most nights.

"I wanted to spend more time with my family so the time came to leave Warrington. It was hard but everything comes to an end. I coached at Wigan St. Pats on a part-time basis for a while after that and enjoyed that a great deal."

Parry took a redundancy deal from British Aerospace in 1997 and took up work for a charity shop, Butterflies, in Newtown.