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Monday, Nov. 24, 2014

Remembering Billy Parker

Posted Wednesday, August 4, 2010, at 3:10 PM

Billy Parker, a friend of many years and former Shelbyville Golden Eagle teammate, passed away late last week in Nashville.

He played center in a single-wing offense and linebacker on defense at Shelbyville and walked on at Vanderbilt, where he played center and was a member of the 1955 team that won the Gator Bowl.

Billy wasn't really big enough or fast enough to play his positions...but he was an extremely smart player and quit was never in his vocabulary.

He accomplished many things in his life, such as writing sports for a brief time for the Nashville Banner, becoming a lawyer and numerous other achievements.

I choose to remember him often for an incident in a Shelbyville football game. He intercepted a pass and made a long return. Not only did he return it for a long distance, but teammates often debated how much time ran off the clock during the return.

He ran from sideline to sideline about four times. One teammate said he blocked the same opposing player at least three times during Parker's ramble.

Rest in peace, Billy. You made a good difference in a lot of lives.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I don't believe I have heard of someone running sideline to sideline four times. That would certainly be on national news now-a-days. I can't even imagine how winded EVERYONE was after that play.

And then to play on a Bowl winning Vanderbilt team? He made some bold imprints on this world before he ever settled down to live the rest of his life. Thanks for sharing this story Bo.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Aug 4, 2010, at 4:37 PM

Bo, thanks for the tribute to Bill Parker. For many, many years, Bill was editor of the Tennessee Law Enforcement Bulletin, a subscription newsletter that our company in Nashville/Brentwood published. It was targeted to the law enforcement community. Bill was extremely punctual and faithful in writing this newsletter. Although, he was a bit older than I am, with both of us being from Shelbyville, we had many, many conversation about "the old days" and kept each other up-to-date during his regular visits to our offices.

To give you an idea of what kind of friend he was: a few years ago, we were going to Paris and since Bill had a son living in Paris, he insisted that he call his son and have him stand in line to buy reduced price train tickets that only "locals" could purchase.

He enjoyed his Shelbyville connections. His best friend Lillard Brown is also from Shelbyville and delivered one of the eulogies at Bill's funeral.

RIP Bill.

-- Posted by marnold1118 on Thu, Aug 5, 2010, at 9:44 AM

Thank you Bo for rembering Billy Parker. He was truly one of the GOOD GUYS on that CHS football team along with Gleaves, Coffey, Carson, Jackson, Melson and many more. Billy was dealt many setbacks in his life but he handled them all with grace and understanding. He was a great example of what you can accomplish with dedication, hard work and love of your fellow man. He will be missed.

-- Posted by jsutton on Sun, Aug 8, 2010, at 3:39 PM

Billy was a close friend in high school. We played together growing up. I remember many sandlot football games we had on the old practice field at CHS on Sunday afternoons. Coach Johnny Martin would not have approved, but we took every opportunity we had to get in a game of "touch" when we could. I had the opportunity to play against Billy on at least two occasions. Once, when we were in about 5th or 6th grade, we had a junior game at the old CHS field. The teams were called Rabbits and Squirrels. I was on the latter and Billy was a Rabbit. My Mother sewed my number on the back of my blue and gold jersey, number 103. Later, when Bill was starring at Vandy and I was on the MTSU squad, we met again at Dudley Field in Nashville. The Commodores beat us 23-13, but as we walked side by side off the field, Billy remarked that we hit them as hard as any SEC team had.

I'll miss you, Billy.

Luke (Bobby Locke)

-- Posted by 1luckyluke on Sun, Aug 8, 2010, at 8:45 PM

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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette. He passed away November 15, 2014, at age 81.
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