Seaham Harbour born centre half Charlie Parker played for local clubs Seaham Albion, Seaham Harbour and Hartlepool BD before joining Stoke in 1913, at that stage playing in the Birmingham & District League. He soon became popular with the club’s supporters and he helped Stoke re-gain their League status in 1914-15. He remained with Stoke through World War One and was a key member of the Stoke squad for their return to the Football League in 1919-20 as the played in 35 matches, making his Football League debut against Barnsley in August 1919. However, in October 1920 he was sold to First Division, Sunderland by manager Arthur Shallcross for £3,300 which prompted and angry reaction by the fans who believed that it was an unnecessary sale of a popular player.
He made his debut for Sunderland against Bradford City on 23rd October 1920 in a 2-2 draw at Valley Parade. He was appointed as Club Captain in 1924 as Charlie Buchan left for Arsenal. In total, he made 256 appearances and scored 12 goals in his time at Sunderland from 1920 to 1929, where he left for Carlisle United to become player-coach scoring once in 9 appearances for The Cumbrians. One of his career highlights was to play for England against Wales, at the Victory International on 8th October 1919 at the Victoria Ground, Stoke, a gameEngland won 2-0, but he never received full England recognition. He later played for Blyth Spartans in 1930.