03:38PM, Tuesday 12 February 2019
The president of Maidenhead United who was instrumental in bringing manager Alan Devonshire to the club has passed away.
Jim Parsons, who also spent nine years as chairman of the Magpies, died at the age of 73.
A lawyer who grew up in Charlton, Jim worked as a solicitor for Stuchbery Stone, based in York Road in the early 1980s.
He took over as chairman of the Magpies in 1988, holding the role until 1997, when he was appointed as president, a position he held until his death.
Roger Coombs, who succeeded Jim as chairman in 1997, said that he was a ‘great drinker’ of Newcastle Brown Ale, and that he would get annoyed whenever it was out of stock at York Road.
He said: “If you ever wanted to find Jim, you could just look in all the pubs in Maidenhead – he’d be in one of them.
“Everyone liked him, I don’t know anyone who didn’t.”
The popular president also had a ‘lucky’ coat which he believed was essential to the club's success and wore to all the games.
Even when he could not make it on one occasion, the coat was still brought to the match.
Jim oversaw the club’s promotion in 1991, but the most influential decision he made for the club was appointing Alan Devonshire in 1996, initially as joint manager with Martyn Busby.
Roger, who was club treasurer at the time, said: “He was more interested in Busby than Alan Devonshire. I don’t think Devonshire was that interested at the time, Busby just brought him along.
“But they fell out and he stayed on. The fact that Jim was one of the instigators in bringing such a great figure to the club is something he was really proud of.”
Devonshire told the Advertiser: "He was a lovely man, he brought me to the club and it was really pleasing to work with him because he was always smiling.
"He was a fantastic man to know and it's really sad, I feel for his family."
Jim’s late wife Janie Bolitho, who was from Cornwall, was a writer of crime fiction, and according to Roger you could often recognise figures from the club as characters in her stories.
Later in his life Jim moved to the west country and took over as president of Plymouth Parkway Football Club, naming the stadium Bolitho Park after his wife.
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