A popular local figure, Ian ‘Pugsey’ Parker, died yesterday. He was 67.
Pugsey was one of those people who fits the title of ‘well-known local character’.
He was brought up in Great Humby, and attended various schools including Ropsley, St Anne’s, Little Gonerby, National and the Boys Central before going to Trent Polytechnic.
He started out as an apprentice printer at Palmers, Swinegate, then on to Morton’s Printers at Sleaford.
Then he took a variety of jobs. He was a porter at the Angel and Royal,worked in the kitchen and on the petrol pumps at Motorstop before working for Robert Macgregor’s civil engineering. He worked for English Brothers, Coles Cranes, Storage and Haulage, Frostlink, DJ Macallum, Reads can-makers, and Chandlers Farm Equipment.
And he was never sacked.
Played for several football clubs, as well as cricket for Welby, Great Ponton (once player of the year) and few times for Grantham when they were short. In recent years, he played Walking Football at the Meres.
He also turned out for the Police. He played darts for Wagon & Horses and Shirley Croft winning the B League with both, also Kontaks Singles league, One season he got the highest finish against Frank Abblitt with 164.
He also played golf at Belton Park, but only for fun.
Pugsey was part of the early 70s Scene Mod With Lambretta Sx 200.
He had an ability to make everyone laugh so never really had any issues making friends. Following Nottingham Forest was a passion in his life, Even getting married on Forest’s furthest away game on Easter Saturday 1974 (they lost 2-0 at Carlisle – ruined his honeymoon).
He was also at Brian Clough’s debut and final Forest games. He helped raise money for many causes, from a child in the 1970s who needed a bionic hand to the Cree Centre when he work at Coles Cranes.
A massive heart attack in 1999, when he was taken under the wing of Glenfield Hospital, Leicester (to whom he is eternally grateful), was a life-changing moment.
After a part-time spell at a local undertakers he joined his wife Sue, a florist, and together they ran the business. He said: “In the years since my heart attack, I have learned so much, with helping my wife to in all aspects of floristry. I have found my outgoing personality my life’s strength.
“If the rest of my life is making people smile then I will be a happy man.”
In 2001 Pugsey was approached By Vince Mapletoft to see if he wanted to help on his telephone lines on Gravity FM, From Vince he moved on to Willie Mac’s phones then on to co-presenter, and this became the biggest show ever broadcast on Gravity.
The listenership was Fantastic. Both Willy and Pugsey raised some great amounts of money for the Station not in the hundreds but the thousands.
Then one day a spot became available for a presenter and Willy suggested him for it. When Gravity went full time his show was called Pugsey’s World and after a few co-presenters along Linda Graves and the show took of big time.
Sometimes it was manic. Then a combination of his pride and risqué comments, brought about his departure following a board meeting.
It may have been curtains for Pugsey’s World, but the world of Pugsey continued apace.
He joined Newark community radio but in September 2018 made his return to Gravity FM, before leaving world of radio behind him.
It may sound a cliche, but in Pugsey’s case, he will be sadly missed.