Halesowen, Staffordshire born outside right Harry Parkes played for Halesowen Amateurs in 1903, Coombs Wood in 1904 and Halesowen in 1905 before joining West Bromwich Albion in February 1906. His debut came against Notts County in March 1907 in the FA Cup 4th round and he played in the semi final defeat against Everton later that season when The Baggies narrowly lost 2-1 at Burnden Park.
He left The Hawthorns after falling out with the West Bromwich Albion management after 4 goals in 23 appearances and joined Southern League Coventry City in May 1908. He played 170 League and Cup games for Coventry, scoring 38 times before returning to West Bromwich Albion in May 1914, making 8 more appearances for The Baggies before peacetime football was suspended. He was player-assistant manager of Albion during the War, while working in munitions. He retired from playing during the war due to cartilage problems.
In June 1919, Parkes was appointed as secretary-manager of Southern League Newport County and Parkes was forced to play in goal in an emergency in April 1920. They joined the expanded Football League in 1920, but County struggled. He became manager of Chesterfield in May 1922 where he had consistent success but no promotion, leaving in April 1927 and taking up the manager’s post with Lincoln City the following month. He led Lincoln to promotion in 1932, by virtue of winning Division Three (North), but Lincoln were relegated again two years later. He left to manage Mansfield Town in May 1936, resigning in January 1938 to manage Notts County. He resigned in July 1939 and retired from football at the same time.